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ED 350 120 

RC 018 561 






Fafunwa, Aliu Babs, Ed.; And Others 

Education in Mother Tongue: The Ife Primary Education 

Research Project (1970-1978). 




Books (010) — Reports - Research/Technical (143) — 
Reports - Descriptive (141) 

MF01/PC08 Plus Postage. 

'''Academic Achievement; Bilingual Education Programs; 
Curriculum Development; Educational Policy; 
Elementary Education; English (Second Language); 
Foreign Countries; ''Language of Instruction; Language 
Role; Longitudinal Studies; Outcomes of Education; 
^Program Development; Program Evaluation; Program 
Implementation; Student Improvement; Teacher 

'''Nigeria; Nigerian Languages; Yoruba (Tribe) 


This book makes a case for the mother tongue as the 
medium of education for the first 12 years of the child's life. It 
describes Nigeria's 6-Year Primary Project, which taught experimental 
groups of students in their native Yoruba in varying degrees for 
their first 6 school years, beginning in 1970. The book shows how the 
mother-tongue education program was planned, organized, and 
implemented. Chapter 1 traces the historical background of 
mother-tongue education, describing educational policy and the 
primary school system under British rule, and the changes made 
thereafter. Chapter 2 describes plans for the project including 
initial goals and funding. Chapters 3 and 4 discuss curriculum 
development and production, describing how panels developed materials 
for mathematics, science, social studies, Yoruba, and English 
instruction, Chapter 5 describes teacher preparation, including 
workshops and on-the-job training. Chapter 6 describes instructional 
programs and objectives for each subject. Chapter 7 examines problems 
encountered during the project. Chapter 8 offers a comprehensive 
evaluation of the project, including methodology and longitudinal 
achievement test results (from the five sample groups) that compare 
several variables, including urban and rural settings. Chapter 9 
offers observations and recommendations for other countries, noting 
literacy-rate improvement and enhancement of the instructional 
language itself. (TES) 

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rhe Ife Primary Education 
Research Project 






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Education in Mother Tongue: 

The Ife Primary Education 
Research Project 

Edited By 

Prof. Aliu Babs Fafunwa 
Prof. Juliet Iyabode Macauley 
Mr. J.A. Funnso Sokoya 



University Press Limited 



ISBN 978 249133 0 

Printed by Intec Printers Limited, Ibadan, Nigeria 
Published by University Press Limited 
Three Crowns Building, Jericho, P.M.B. 5095, Ibadan, Nigeria. 


This Book is dedicated to the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo 
University, under whose congenial academic climate, the six year Primary 
Education Research Project grew and thrived. 



1. Prof. Aliu Babs Fafunwa 

Science/Teacher Education 

2. Prof. A. Afolayan 

Language Education 

3. Prof. E.A. Yoloye 


4. Mr. J. A. Funnso Sokoya 

Social and Cultural Studies/Teacher Education and Book Production 

5. Prof. Juliet Iyabode Macauley 

English/Teacher Education. 

6. Mr. A.M. Laosebikan 


7. Mr. D. Agbo Ologunde 

Yoruba/Book Production. 

8. Prof. A.A. Taiwo 


9. Prof. A. Ojerinde 


10. Dr. T.O. Fasokun 


11. Dr. J.O. Folayan 





Contents Pa 8 e 




Introductory 1 


I Background of the Six Year Primary Project 2 

— Introduction 2 

— The Old Educational System 3 — 5 

— The New Education Policy 5 — 7 

— The Primary School System 7 

— Project Antecedent: Educational Anchronism in 

Africa 7 — 10 

— The Importance of the Mother Tongue as a Medium 

of Education 10—11 

— Language in Education 10 — 16 

II Plans and Strategies 17 

— Assumptions and Objectives of the Project 17 

— Hypothesis 17—18 

— Strategies of the Project 18 — 21 

— Funding by Supportive Agencies 22 — 27 


Implementation 28 

III Curriculum Development 29 

— Strategies for Curriculum Development 29 — 30 

— Initial Stages of Curriculum Development 30 — 31 

— A. The Yoruba Language Writing Panel 31—35 

— B. Matimatiiki (Mathematics) Writing Panel 36 — 45 

— C. Sayensi (Science) Writing Panel 45 — 49 

— D. Social and Cultural Studies Writing Panel 50 — 55 

— E. English Language Writing Panel 55 — 62 

IV Production of Materials for the Project 63 

— The Genesis 63 — 64 

— Strategy for Material Production 64 

— Stages of Production 64 — 66 

— Personnel in the Production Unit 66 


V Teacher Training for the Project 67 

— Background to Teacher Training 67 

— Teacher Training for the Project 68 — 71 

VI Teaching and Learning Situations 72 

— Classroom Guidelines for Both Experimental and 

Control Classes 72 

— Integration of Learning Areas Through Improved 
Time-Tabling 72 — 73 

— Teaching of Subject Areas 73 — 89 

— The Teaching Process 90 — 91 

VII Problems Encountered on the Project 92 

— General School Administration 92 - 98 


Evaluation 99 

VIII Evaluation 100 

— Introduction 100 

— Research and Evaluation Designs 104 - 1 13 

— Analyses Procedures 113-117 

— Results 117-130 

— Monitoring of the Educational Progress of the Pro- 
ducts of SYPP 130-132 


Conclusions, Implications and Recommendations 133 

IX Conclusions, Implications and Recommendations 134 

— Governments' Reaction to the Project 134-136 

— The Travails of Choosing a Language 136-141 

— Achievements of the Experiment 141 - 143 

— Conclusions 143 _ 144 

— Observations 144 _ 145 
Appendix 147 _ 161 
Bibliography 162-164 
Index 165-166 




This Book makes a case for mother-tongue as medium of education for at least the 
first twelve years of the child's life. If it is true as the psychologists say that the first 
twelve years is the most formative in a child's life, then mother tongue education for 
the child should be seen as an inalienable right and its denial be viewed as denial of 
the child's fundamental human right. 

Naturally, there are certain constraints that have to be removed in the implementa- 
tion of a mother tongue medium programme. These constraints differ from one 
country to another. This book shows how a mother-tongue education was success- 
fully planned, organized and implemented in one section of Nigeria and how the 
various problems that emerged were resolved. It also offers suggestions to those 
African countries that are interested in replicating the Ife mother tongue Six Year 
Primary Project. 

One of the most important factors that militate against the dissemination of 
knowledge and skills and therefore of rapid social and economic well-being of the 
majority of people in developing countries is the imposed medium of communica- 
tion. English and French in the former British and French colonies served as the impe- 
rialist language of communication and are still in use today enjoying the same status 
as before. English, in the case of Nigeria for instance, is the language of commerce, 
trade, administration, politics, education and international communication. But 
how many Nigerians communicate in English inside and outside Nigeria? Shall we 
say 20 million out of a possible 100 million Nigerians? How do the remaining 80 mil- 
lion carry on their daily lives? We know that the Germans, Russians, Japanese, Chi- 
nese, and others carry on their daily routine — including research and development 
— in their own language. We also know that some Germans, Japanese, Chinese, 
Russians, etc., speak English or French and it is this few that travel around the world 
to do business or attend international conferences. But 80 per cent of our peo- 
ple who do not speak English, or French, carry on the real business of life and living 
on their farms and markets, at festivals and religious ceremonies speaking in their 
own mother tongue - just as the majority of Germans, Russians, Japanese and 
Chinese do. 

We are also aware that our state of underdevelopment has remained for so long 
due largely to our use of English and French. We impart knowledge and skills al- 
most exclusively in these foreign languages while the majority of our people, far- 
mers and craftsmen perform their daily tasks in Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Nupe, Ijaw 
etc. The question is: why not help them to improve their social, economic and politi- 
cal activities via the mother tongue? Why insist on their learning English or French 
first before modern technology can be introduced to them? In most developing 
countries, a few towns and cities operate in English, French, etc., while many rural 
villages and hamlets operate in the mother tongue; as a result, for the past 35 years 



UNESCO has been pioneering and promoting the use of mother tongue as a medi- 
um of education, and more actively so in the last decade. 

The advantages in the use of mother tongue are many; to deprive the indigenous 
speaker of the use of his language for education is like removing his soul. Education 
in the mother tongue removes all the inhibitions that beset the use of a foreign 
language because the mother tongue: 

1. makes it possible for the learner to give free reins to his thoughts and ex- 
press same in creative language thus paving the way to meaningful educa- 

2. frees knowledge from the preserves of a microscopic elite that operates in 
a foreign tongue to the disadvantage of the majority; 

3. offers equal opportunity to a large number of people and enables them to 
participate actively in national construction and reconstruction; 

4. compels decentralization of information and ensures free, as opposed to 
controlled, media; 

5. gives a greater number of people greater access to education and personal 
development, so that the rural population can learn agriculture, improved 
business methods, etc.; 

6. provides greater opportunity for the advice and consent of a large number 
of groups and thus makes a better defense for the democratic process; 

7. promotes an interactive and interdependent society. 

The major aim of formal education is to help the child develop his natural abilities 
by creating the necessary environment that will stimulate, challenge, and involve 
him socially, physically, intellectually, and emotionally in the art of learning and 
doing. It is the job of the school to facilitate learning by creating the ideal situation 
for the child to discover things for himself. To this end the objective of primary edu- 
cation, for instance, is to develop the whole child through a variety of activities: lan- 
guage art, mathematical processes, science exploration, manipulative activities, so- 
cial studies and civics, physical exercises, creative thinking and the like. 

The views expressed above represent a universally accepted philosophy of educa- 
tion by educators and educational administrators. It is also i ..n»ersally agreed that a 
child learns best in his or her mother-tongue. The Ife Six Year Primary Project, as 
reported comprehensively in this book, had amply demonstrated the veracity of this 

Jerome Bruner emphasized the importance of mother tongue succinctly when he 

Man has the capability to receive and translate knowledge in a linguistic form. This per- 
mits man to convert knowledge into a form that renders it highly transformable. Lan- 
guage not only permits an enormous condensation of knowledge, but permits us to turn 



the knowledge into hypothetical forms so that we may consider alternatives without 
having to act them in the form of trial and error. 1 

Bruner then discussed the expanded code of language: 

There is another thing that Basil V. Bernstein and others have called the expanded 
code of language. It is extremely important for school children to grasp the way of 
using language in a more expanded form in which they can talk about things, bring 
up associations, identify an object in its connotations. 

This is particularly significant for a child using a second language for his school 
work. Working in Senegal a few years ago, Dr. Greenfield of our laboratory tried a 
little informal experiment in which she got children to play guessing games in French 
and in Wolof, and it was touching... the richness of the guesses in Wolof and their 
poverty in French. 

Not that the French language is not rich in its capacity, but for the Wolof child, it 
was lacking in its web of associations and fantasies. A language that you have never 
been happy in, never been angry in, never made love in, a language that is only for 
school, is no language in which to develop the enterprises of the mind.! 

I am fully aware of the necessity for mastering languages that give access to the techni- 
ques and culture of other people; this is clearly true. But I would like to urge that in- 
stead of using the stiff instrument of a new language in which one has felt nothing dee- 
ply, but talked about cold subjects, we should arrange for such instruction to be in the 
native language to allow for the development of what is spoken of as cognitive struc- 
ture. 2 

What is called for in developing countries therefore is backward integration, that 
is to say, grassroots/bootstrap development. We need to develop from within, wit- 
hout being isolationist in our approach. We need to bring our rear to the fore. For 
too long the head had been dragging the rest of the body and that is principally why 
we have not made much progress. The situation therefore calls for appropriate lan- 
guage; appropriate method; appropriate technology; gearing of education to basic 
needs of development; and appropriate teacher education curriculum. 

The Ife Six Year Primary Project which has resulted in the publication of this 
book, Education in Mother Tongue: The Ife Six Year Primary Project would not have 
been possible if it were not for the support of many agencies, groups and indivi- 
duals. Mention must be made of the excellent role played by the Ford Foundation of 
New York both financially and professionally. The Foundation supported the pro- 
ject right from its inception in 1969 up to and including the year 1976. It also made 
the services of the late Mrs Marjorie Shaplin of the University of Missouri available 

1. J.S. Bruner, 1972, page 44 

2. J.S. Bruner op. cit. 



to the Project as its principal consultant. Other American consultants who con- 
tributed to the Project professionally were the late Professor Judson Shaplin and Mr 
Melvin Fox who was the Ford Representative in Nigeria at the time the Project was 
on course. 

Another major contributor was the University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo Uni- 
versity under whose congenial academic climate the Project came to life, grew and 
thrived. The late Professor H.A Oluwasanmi who was then the Vice-Chancellor of 
the University took a personal interest in the Project and generously approved the use 
of University facilities in terms of office space and equipment and the deployment 
of University staff to the Project either on full time or part time basis. The Universi- 
ty later assumed financial responsibility for the Project after the Ford Foundation 
grant terminated. 

The former Western State's Ministry of Education (comprising Ogun, Oyo and 
Ondo States) was another major contributor to the success of the Project. It offered 
the use of its schools for the Project and seconded the teachers to the Project. Other 
contributors to the success of the Project included academic and professional collea- 
gues from the Universities of Ibadan and Lagos and non-education academics from 
the University of Ife itself where the Project was and is still located. Others were tu- 
tors from teacher training colleges, and primary and secondary school teachers in the 
former Western State. 

Invaluable contributors without whose input the Project would not have been 
successful were the children themselves, the parents and guardians who took us on 
faith; others were the old non-literate elders in the villages who taught us a lot that 
we Yoruba speaking academics did not know in terms of Yoruba language and cul- 
ture as well as appropriate terminologies etc. 

Acknowledgement is also due to the internal and external evaluators, particularly 
Professor E.A. Yoloye and his colleagues from the University of Ibadan's Interna- 
tional Centre for Educational Evaluation (ICEE). The report of the evaluation of 
the Project in Chapter 9 is an eloquent testimony to their contribution to the pro- 

I cannot conclude this foreword without narrating the following incident. On De- 
cember 19, 1987 the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, awarded 
me an honorary D. Litt at a very colourful and grand ceremony; three others were 
also honoured. After the ceremony pictures were being taken, as is customary on 
such occasions. During the time I was being photographed, a young lady clad in a 
master's degree gown appeared and requested to take a picture with me and my wi- 
fe. We readily obliged, but I was curious to know who the young lady was - a 
friend s daughter? A distant relative, or just a photograph buff? Whoever she was, I 
did not recognize her! "I am one of your six-year primary project pupils" she exci- 
tedly informed me. "My group was the first set which entered in 1970"! That was a 
happy surprise. I was deeply touched. Right there on the campus of Ife where it all 
started seventeen years before, one of the six-year-old's who constituted the 



Project's "lead-in" group, Miss Seyi Olojede now an assistant lecturer at the Lagos 
State University was receiving her M.Phil, degree in Linguistics at the same cere- 
mony where I was being honoured! The brief encounter outside the convocation hall 
was the most rewarding part of the convocation ceremony and an eloquent testimo- 
ny to the success of the Ife Six Year Primary Project. 

Finally, my gratitude goes to my colleagues in the Institute and Faculty of Educa- 
tion who worked tirelessly day and night to ensure the flow of materials from rough 
drafts to finished products and into the classroom where the real action was. 

I must also mention the invaluable contributions of our back-up crew-artists, ty- 
pists and other junior staff who were as committed and dedicated as the Project te- 
am itself. I will end with the words of the Project members who said at the end of 
the experiment: 

'We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in working on the experiment and particularly 
with the children. We learnt a lot and our Yourba, both spoken and written impro- 
ved tremendously. We can now stand up in public in spite of our English erudition 
and speak extemporaneously in Yoruba without mixing Yoruba with English! We 
hope the children had as much fun as we did!' 

A. Babs Fafunwa 

Director, Ife Six Year Primary Project, 
University of Ife, now 
Obafemi Awolowo University, 
lie -Ife. 

9A Bendel Close 
Victoria Island 

January 1st, 1989. 





Background of the 
Six Year Primary Project 


As a background to this study, it is essential that we describe briefly the over-all 
environment within which the Six Year Primary Project was launched in 1970. 

Nigeria has a land area of 923,766 sq. km which stretches from the Atlantic coast 
in the south to the fringes of the Sahara Desert in the North. It is populated by 100 
million people (estimate) who speak many languages; the major ones being Hausa 
(about 30 million) Igbo (about 14 million) and Yoruba (about 15 million) followed 
by other languages used on the news media e.g. Fulfude, Ibibio, Ijaw, Edo, Efik, 
Kanuri and Nupe. The three major linguistic groups are to be found in three distinc- 
tive geographical areas — Hausa in the North, Ibo in the East and Yoruba in the 
Western part of the country. 

Nigeria was under British Colonial rule from 1856 to 1860. In 1947, the British 
Colonial government divided the country into three regions: the Northern Region 
which is predominantly Hausa speaking, the Eastern Region which is largely Igbo 
speaking and the Western Region which is predominantly Yoruba speaking. The 
Western Region was later split into two regions — Western Region which is largely 
Yoruba speaking and the Mid- West which is a conglomeration of tongues. Each re- 
gion had its own legislature and a colonial governor with a governor-general at the 
centre. In 1951, the regions were granted internal-self government and in 1960, Nige- 
ria gained its independence from British rule. In 1966, the military took over the 
reins of government and on October 1, 1979, the country returned to civilian rule 
under a presidential system. In December 1983, the country once again came under 
military rule. It will return to civil rule in 1992 according to the current transitional 
programme of the present military administration. Today, the Federal Republic of 
Nigeria is made up of twenty-one states and the Capital Territory of Abuja. 

The Old Educational System 

Prior to the advent of Europeans, all the Nigerian ethnic groups had their own 
distinctive cultures, traditions, languages and indigenous systems of Education. 



However, they all had common educational aims and objectives but methods diffe- 
red from place to place as dictated by social, economic and geographical circum- 
stances. 1 In tne old Nigerian society, the purpose of education was clear: Functiona- 
lism was the main guiding principle. The society regarded education as a means to 
an end and not an end in itself. Education was generally for an immediate induction 
into the society and a preparation for adulthood. It emphasized sense of responsibi- 
lity, skill and work ethics, political participation, spiritual and moral values. Chil- 
dren learnt by doing; that is to say, children and adolescents were engaged in partici- 
patory education through imitation, recitation and demonstration particularly dur- 
ing ceremonies and rituals. They were involved in practical farming, weaving, coo- 
king, carving, knitting and sewing. While intellectual training comprised story- 
telling, reasoning activities, local history, legend, the environment (local geography, 
plants and animals), poetry, riddles, proverbs etc., recreational activities included 
wrestling, dancing, drumming, acrobatics, etc. Indeed, indigenous education was an 
integrated experience in that it combined physical and intellectual training with 

At the end of each stage, demarcated either by age level or years of exposure, the 
child was given a practical test relevant to his experience and level of development 
and in terms of the job to be done. This was a continuous assessment which eventual- 
ly culminated in a 'passing out' ceremony or initiation into manhood. 

The aim, the content and indeed the methods of indigenous education were intri- 
cately interwoven; they were not divided into separate compartments as is the case 
with the westernized system of education; and of course, the medium of education 
was the child's mother-tongue throughout. 

Islamic religion reached the savannah region of West Africa in the eighth century 
and spread to the part of northern Nigeria called Kanem-Bornu region in 1085 A.D. 
It later reached the Hausaland in the early 14th century. As Islam spread so did Isla- 
mic education, particularly in Northern Nigeria and later spread to Yorubaland in 
the 18th century. Islamic education is primarily in Arabic. While Islam had its im- 
pact on Nigerian education from the 14th century to the present, the greater impact 
on the Nigerian system was to come later via Christianity cum Western education in 
the 19th century. 

The first Europeans to set foot on what is now Nigeria were the Portuguese mer- 
chants who reached the Gulf of Guinea in the latter part of the fifteenth century. 
They also visited Lagos and Benin in 1472. The Catholics through the influence of 
Portuguese merchants established a seminary at the Coast of Nigeria (Sao Thome) 
in 1571 , but their activities were short-lived. 

In 1842, the first English speaking Christian missionary arrived in Badagry near 
Lagos and immediately established a mission, and later, the first Western oriented 
school in Badagry in 1843. The primary objective of the early Christian missionaries 
was to convert the benighted African to Christianity via education. Knowledge of 

the Bible, the ability to sing hymns and recite catechism, was only available in the 
English version at that time. The ability to communicate both orally and in writing, 
were considered essential for a good Christian. The early missionaries also reali- 
zed the importance of training the local clergy, catechists, lay readers and pious 
teachers who would minister to the needs of their own people preferably through the 
local language. However, the early missionaries erroneously assumed that the Afri- 
can culture and religion (animism) had in the words of a former colonial governor 
of Nigeria, Lord Lugard, 'no system of ethics, and no principle of conduct' 2 . It is 
with this attitude of mind that they established their schools. The missions principal- 
ly, Methodist, Anglican, Catholic and Baptist established and administered their 
schools without interference from the Colonial government from 1843 to 1882. 
Consequently, each Christian mission designed the curriculum to meet its own need 
which was to produce catechists, layreaders and the clergy. Even when the colonial 
government became interested in Nigerian education, it only demonstrated its inter- 
est by giving meagre financial support to the missions without interfering with the 
missions' educational or linguistic policy. The Colonial government was only intere- 
sted in ensuring that the schools produced clerks and court-interpreters. 

Prior to 1925, the British government had no clearly defined policy on education 
in its African colonies. Before then, missionary schools had multiplied and many 
Nigerian individuals and communities had established hundreds of schools. For in- 
stance, by 1922, government assisted schools numbered only 195 with pupil popula- 
tion of 28,000 while unassisted schools numbered 2,400 with 122,000 pupils. The 
1925 memorandum on Education in British colonial territories established the first 
government policy on education. It stated inter alia, 'education should be adapted 
to local conditions in such a manner as would enable it to conserve all sound ele- 
ments in local tradition and social organization. The study of the educational use of 
the vernacular and the provision of textbooks in the vernacular are of primary im- 
portance' 3 . Thus, for the first time in the histroy of western education in Nigeria, 
the Colonial government officially approved the use of the mother tongue in educa- 

As a result of that policy, mother tongue was actively introduced both as a subject 
and as a medium of instruction for the first two or three classes at the primary edu- 
cation level. 

It was the same 1925 memorandum which laid down the system of education in 
Nigeria thus: 

Systems should be established which, although varying with local conditions, will pro- 
vide elementary education for boys and girls, secondary education of several types, 
technical vocational education, institutions of higher education which might eventually 
develop into universities and some form of adult education'* 

The 1925 memorandum more than any other guided the Nigerian educational policy 
and development from 1925 to the time of independence in 1960. 

Throughout most of the colonial period, 1842 to 1959, Nigerian formal education 
was patterned after the English system. The emphasis was on 'English' both in 
thought and culture. The ability to speak English fluently and if possible with an 
Oxford accent was the hallmark of excellence even if the speaker was empty of 
thoughts and ideas. 

Indeed, an illiterate who could speak English was considered educated even if he 
could not read or write whereas a well cultured Yoruba, Hausa, Edo or Ibo who 
could only read or write in his mother tongue was considered an 'illiterate'. Both the 
early missionaries and the early English teachers discouraged and indeed kept Nige- 
rian cultural and linguistic activities out of the school system. Instead, the English 
culture was promoted in all of its ramifications. In effect, a good British subject in 
Nigeria before independence was one who was a Christian, a speaker of the English 
language who wore English clothes and exhibited English manntrs. In those days, it 
was n serious offence for a secondary school boy or girl to speak in the 'vernacular' 
within the school premises. 

With independence in 1960, Nigerians gradually began to re-examine their role in 
the world community of nations — moving from being subjects of a colonial power, 
to being citizens of their own independent country and the world at large. The Nige- 
rian government and its people came iJ regard education as a key to over-all deve- 
lopment. Consequently, the various states of the Federation as well as the Feden.1 
Government, spent between 30 to 40% of their annual recurrent budgets on educa- 
tion at the four levels — primary, secondary, higher education as well as adult edu- 
cation, during the first decade of independence. 

The country experienced phenomenal growth in educational development bet- 
ween 1960 and 1980. At the primary level, school population increased from 
2,912,619 in 1960 to 4,745,805 in 1974. In 1976, the Federal Government introduced 
universal primary education making primary education free and universal but not 
compulsory. As a result, the primary school population sky-rocketed from 4.7 mil- 
lion in 1974 to 8.28 million in 1976, 14 million in 1980 and over 16 million in 1988. 

At the secondary and the tertiary levels, the story was similar. Student population 
at the secondary level rose from 55,235 in 1960 to 343,313 in 1971 ana to 735,905 in 
1977, reaching over 3.5 million in 1988. By the time of independence in 1960, there 
were only two universities in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan founded in 1948 and 
the University of Nigeria founded in 1960. By 1970, Nigeria had 6 Universities and 
as of 1988 there were 20 Federal universities and 8 State universities. 

The New Education Poliry 

In 1977, the military - regime in Nigeria issued a new 'National Policy on Education 
for Nigeria'. It was the outcome of a series of processes which started with a Natio- 
nal Conference Curriculum Conference in 1969 followed by seminars and curricu- 
lum workshops between 1972 and 1976. The new policy set out in detail the over-all 

philosophy of Nigerian education which is based on 'the integration of the indivi- 
dual into a sound and effective citizen and equal educational opportunities for all 
citizens of the nation at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.' The new policy 
is based on the 6-3-3-4 system: Six years of primary education, three years of pre- 
vocational junior secondary, three years of senior secondary education and four 
years of university education. 

The National Policy on Education stated the following as the general objective of 
primary education: 

1.3. Primary education as referred to in this document is education given in 
an institution for children aged normally 6 to 11. Since the rest of the 
education system is built upon it, the primary level is the key to the suc- 
cess or failure of the whole system. 

1 .4. This being the case, the general objectives of primary education are: 

(i) the inculcation of permanent literacy and numeracy, and the abili- 
ty to communicate effectively; 

(ii) the laying of a sound basis for scientific reflective thinking 

(iii) citizenship education as a basis for effective participation in and 
contribution to the life of the society; 

(iv) character and moral training and the development of sound attitu- 

(v) developing in the child the ability to adapt to his changing envi- 

(vi) giving the child opportunities for developing manipulative skills 
that will enable him to function effectively in the society within 
the limits of his capacity; 

(vii) providing basic tools for further educational advancement, inclu- 
ding preparation for trades and crafts of the locality. 

These objectives now form the basis of primary education in all the States of the 

1.5. In pursuance of the above objectives; 

(1) Government has made Primary Education free and universal by 
implementing the UPE Scheme in September 1976 and proposes 
to make it compulsory as soon as possible, and 

(2) Government prescribes the following curricular activities for the 
primary school; the inculcation of literacy and numeracy, the stu- 
dy of science, the study of the social norms and values of the local 
community and of the country as a whole through civics and so- 
cial studies, the giving of health and physical education, moral 
and religious education, the encouragement of aesthetic, creative 


and musical activities, the teaching of local crafts and domestic 
science and agriculture' 5 

The 1969 National Curriculum Conference v/hich resulted in the formulation of the 
National Policy cn Education in 1973 and 1979, was greatly influenced by the posi- 
tion papers and discussions contributed by the organizers of the Ife Six Year Prima- 
ry Project with particular reference to primary education vis a vis, mother-tongue, 
primary science and social and cultural studies. 

The Primary School System 

Before the introduction of the new National Policy on Education in 1977, the dura- 
tion of primary school course in Nigeria varied from State to State; some were for 
an eight year duration, some for seven and some for six. The entry age also varied 
from eight to six years; consequently, the children who stayed in school till the end 
of the course completed the primary cycle between the ages-of eleven and fourteen. 

It was decided as far back as 1925 (see 1925 Memorandum on Education Policy in 
British Tropical Africa) that the medium of instruction in the early years of the 
children's education should be in the 'Vernacular' and English as medium in the 
last three or four years of the primary education course. Subjects taught under this 
system included arithmetic, nature study, art and craft, hygiene and sanitation, phy- 
sical training, local geography and history, mother tongue, English both as a medi- 
um and as a subject and religious knowledge. At the end of that primary education 
course, the children were subjected to a written examination, called Primary Six 
School Leaving Certificate. The test was an examination set in English and the chil- 
dren had to answer the questions in English. Before a child could be certified as a 
successful primary school leaver, he must have passed in English, and a number of 
other subjects. The children's chances of entering a secondary or trade school or in- 
deed of gaining low level employment depended largely on their performance in this 
single achievement test in English. 

With the switching of the medium of instruction from the mother tongue after 
three years to English in the last three or four years of primary education, the ave- 
rage Nigerian child is usually neither proficient in his mother tongue nor in English, 
thus defeating one of the primary aims of Nigerian education which is permanent 

Project Antecedent: Educational Anchronism in Africa 

The major aim of primary education is to help the child develop his natural abilities 
by creating the necessary environment that will stimulate, challenge and involve him 
socially, physically, intellectually and emotionally in the art of learning and doing. 
To this end, it is the responsibility of the educational system to facilitate learning by 
creating the ideal situation for the child to discover things for himself. 


It is also universally agreed that a child learns best in his or her mother tongue. 
Yet, of all the continents and peoples of the world, it is only in Africa and perhaps 
in a few other ex-colonial countries that formal education is offered in a language 
that is foreign to the child. 

In Europe, North America, USSR, China and in all other leading countries of the 
world, the child goes through his primary, secondary and university education in his 
own mother tongue. In such countries, activities related to trade, commerce, educa- 
tion, civics, cultural and social aspects are conducted in the mother tongue. How- 
ever, in Africa, south of the Sahara and north of the Limpopo, we educate our chil- 
dren practically in a foreign tongue from primary to post secondary level. While 
some of the native speakers of English or French have problems in understanding 
their own language as dramatized in a popular book entitled: Why Jonny can 7 read, 
the African child has all of Jonny's linguistic problems plus his own, thus, suffering 
from double jeopardy. 

In another paper, we discussed the average African child's psychological deve- 
lopment from age 0 to 6 in terms of his natural environment and how his pattern of 
development is interrupted or disturbed by his formal school experience at the age 
of 5 or 6. 

The African society of today is in an ambivalent position and so is the child from 
this environment. Between the ages of 0 and 5, African children are invariably 
brought up in the traditional African environment, but when they reach the age of 6, 
one third to one tenth of these children (depending on the African country) enter an- 
other educational system almost completely different from the one they were accu- 
stomed to; that is, they grew up with a certain cognitive style and suddenly found 
themselves in another environment with an entirely different approach. This pheno- 
menon has not been given the attention it deserves by African educators and psycho- 
logists: we tend to assume that the African child takes this dramatic change in his 
stride and we expect him to respond to this new situation as an average English, 
American or German child would. The fact of the matter however is that the child's 
cognitive equilibrium has been disturbed and this abnormal situation (the deep gulf 
between traditional non-formal African system of education and the formal, 
Western oriented system of Education) tends to retard the cognitive process in terms 
of the anticipated outcome of the Western form of education. More than fifty per 
cent of the children who entered primary schools dropped out before the end of the 

A number of studies carried out on 'Primary School dropouts' in Nigeria attri- 
buted the dropout phenomenon which ranges from 40 to 60% to: 

(i) premature introduction of English as a language of instruction at the 
primary school; 

(ii) poorly trained teachers, and 

(iii) inadequate teaching and learning facilities 



There is little or no continuity between the African child's home experience and 
his school experience — a situation that does not arise in the Western countries 
where in most cases, the child's school experience is a continuation of his home ex- 
perience and exposure. 

The table below is a graphic representation of the point we are making here. 

Table 1: The Pre-School Child, (he home and Ihe Education Culture 

Indigenous Home and 

Partly Indigenous 
and Partly Western 
Home and Environ- 

1. Play & Games 

2. Language used 

1. Early Exposure 
Western Edu- 

Indigenous games & 
Plays with sands, soil, 
stones, strings, sticks, 
maize-cobs, catapults, 
bows and arrows, 
drums, ayo, ogo, number 
games; make believe - 
plays such as marriages, 
naming ceremonies and 
mock village meetings; 
group plays such as dan- 
cing, wrestling, guessing 

Local language at home, 
at play and for early 
cognitive development. 

Most likely, no previous 
school experience in im- 
mediate family. Child 
has vague idea about 
'School' or is aware of 
a physical building 
called 'School'. 

A mixture of both in- 
digenous and West- 
ern games & play. 

Mixture of local 
and foreign lan- 

Child belongs to 
first or second 
generation of 
and consequently 
child has idea of 
books and school. 

Western-oriented Home 
and Environment 

Manufactured toys & 
gadgets, picture books, 
games designed prima- 
rily with the Western 
child in mind. 

Foreign language which 
is the language of the 

School tradition runs 
in the family: parents, 
uncles, grant-parents 
etc. Importance of 
'School' well imprin- 
ted in his consciousness 
from the earliest possi- 
ble age. Possibility of 
Nursery education in 

Several observations and studies regarding the Nigerian Educational system and lan- 
guage problems had been made over time and reported in a number of documents 
from many sources. 7 One of such studies.entitled; The effect of bilingualism on the 

abstract and concrete thinking ability ofYoruba Children, was conducted by Fafun- 
wa and Bliss in 1967. 

The purpose of the study was to examine the learning and thought process of 
young Yoruba children when they are forced to work in two languages, Yoruba and 

The children were presented with a set of stimuli (a series of pictures) and were as- 
ked to identify them in either English or Yoruba depending on the experimental 
group to which they had been assigned. They were then asked to recall as many of 
the objects as they could in either English or Yoruba again depending on their expe- 
rimental group. Four hundred primary school children were involved in the experi- 
ment and were selected from Ile-Ife town and nearby villages. 

The first group was taught in Yoruba and was asked to recall in English. The se- 
cond was taught in English and asked to recall in Yoruba. The third group was 
taught in Yoruba and was asked to recall in Yoruba. The study showed that the chil- 
dren were at their best when taught in Yoruba and asked to recall in Yoruba. 8 

An earlier unpublished study showed that in most primary schools in Nigeria, 
the teacher 'does a double task' with his pupils in primary classes four, five and six. 
That is to say, the teacher employs Yoruba as a medium whenever the children fail 
to follow class instructions in English. This is inescapable because the child- 
ren's level of proficiency in English is minimal. It was found for instance that all 
subjects except Yoruba were treated in this fashion even up to the last year of prima- 
ry education. 

One can of course attribute the lack of language effectiveness to a number of fac- 
tors: poorly prepared teachers, lack of adequate teaching aids, paucity of appro- 
priate text-books or the poor implementation of the national language policy. 

The importance of the Mother Tongue As a Medium of Education 

The state of affairs described above led us to wonder aloud as to whether the Nige- 
rian child is not being unnecessarily maimed emotionally and intellectually. We also 
observed that no other nation in the world except most of the former colonies and 
those still under colonial rule prepare their children for citizenship in languages 
foreign to them. 

The first twelve years are the most formative period of a child's life, for it is during 
this period that attitudes and aptitudes are developed. It is also during this period 
that the child requires diligent care of his physical needs and trained guidance of his 
mental, emotional and social development. It is our thesis that if the Nigerian child 
is to be encouraged from the start to develop curiosity, manipulative ability, sponta- 
neous flexibility, initiative, industry, manual dexterity, mechanical comprehension 
and the co-ordination of hand and eye, he should acquire these skills and attitudes 


through the mother-tongue as the medium of education, which after all is the most 
natural way of learning. This is where the average European or English child has a 
decided advantage over his African counterpart. While the former is acquiring new 
skills during the first six years in his mother-tongue, the latter is busy struggling with 
a foreign language during the greater part of his primary education. The English, 
German, or the Italian children explore their own natural environment and commu- 
nicate in their native tongue, thus acquiring at very early stages self-confidence, ini- 
tiative, resourcefulness, creative reasoning and adaptability-skills necessary for furt- 
her growth in later stages of development. It is our contention that a child, if helped 
to lay the foundation of his future development in his own mother-tongue, will like- 
ly be in a position to build upon it in later years even in another language. 

We are therefore constrained to ask whether this serious defect in our colonial 
pattern of education has not robbed the child of inventiveness, originality and crea- 
tivity since he is forced to think in English instead of Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo or any 
other Nigerian language. It was as a result of the studies and observations mentioned 
earlier thet the Institute of Education, University of Ife launched the much talked- 
about Six Year Primary Project in January, 1970 with Yoruba as a medium of edu- 
cation throughout the six-year primary course with English taught as a second 
language from primary one to six. 

Language in Education 

This section deals with the ideology, policy and implementation of language in edu- 

(i) The Ideology 

It is from the ideological standpoint that a good policy may arise and effective im- 
plementation in turn follow 9 . An examination of the National Policy on 
Education 10 shows very clearly the point we are making. In that document, provi- 
sions are made for the use of the mother tongue for pre-primary education and the 
early part of primary education. There is also the significant statement in Section 1, 
Paragraph 8 to the effect that every Nigerian child should be encouraged to learn 
one of the three principal languages in Nigeria (Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba) in addition 
to the child's learning of his own mother tongue. We are also aware that the five 
main national objectives in Nigeria as stated in the Second National Development 
Plan" are: 

(1) the building of a very democratic society, 

(2) a just and egalitarian society, 

(3) a united, strong and reliable society, 

(4) a dynamic society, 

(5) a land of brightness and full of opportunity for all children. 


r .t 

Thus, it becomes clear that there must be an underlying political ideology behind the 
various statements in order to make resultant policy a coherent and consistent one. 
Although emphasis on quantity is not mutually exclusive, it is clear that the choice 
of a particular ideology in one direction or the other would direct the kind of educa- 
tional programme that would be embarked upon whether it would be from the 
egalitarian/quantitative stance or from the elitist/qualitative stand point. The Pro- 
ject is based on the former. In this connection, it can be said that while the Project 
wanted to achieve as much quality as possible, it had shown more concern for rea- 
ching the maximum number of pupils and simultaneously leading them to attain 
permanent literacy and numeracy. It is this type of underlying ideological stance 
that had led the Project to use the language (mother tongue), most readily available 
to all pupils as well as their teachers, as the common medium of instruction. 

However, Nigeria is a linguistically heterogeneous nation with English as its offi- 
cial second language. This situation makes it desirable for all Nigerians to be able to 
communicate freely in English and mandatory for all who wish to receive formal 
education to do so through the medium of English particularly at the upper prima- 
ry, secondary and tertiary levels of education. The ideological position of the Pro- 
ject therefore had been to ensure that the pupils acquired English to perform the 
roles of effective communication at the primary level and later as a medium of in- 
struction in conformity with the government policy. Experience has shown over the 
years that the English competencies of primary school pupils and their teachers have 
been such that both have had great difficulty in using English as an effective medium 
of instruction at that level. It has been common practice for the primary school tea- 
cher to switch from English to the mother tongue when teaching concepts and skills, 
thus creating an unstable bilingual situation in the classroom. This has often caused 
confusion in the process of learning. 

(ii) The Policy 

Language plays two different roies in education. Like the other components of any 
formal educational programme, it constitutes an instructional area, a subject, but 
unlike the other components, it is also the medium of instruction generally. This 
means that behind any learning process whatever, (except in a few marginal cases) 
language is always involved. This becomes more complex when the learning involves 
not monolingual but bilingual or even multilingual situation, which typifies the 
Nigerian classroom. Under such circumstances, the question arises as to which lan- 
guage will play which role. Is the child's mother-tongue going to play either of both 
roles of subject and medium throughout? Alternatively, is the English Language to 
play either or both roles throughout? 

The Project embarked upon a policy that encourages the pupils to use their own 
mother-tongue to obtain maximum self-reliance, growth and development as indivi- 
duals. At the same time, it makes it possible for them to achieve communicative com- 



petence in the English Language to enable them interact with children of other Nige- 
rian ethnic groups in order to function as citizens of the same multi-lingual commu- 
nity. Finally, it also prepares them for the use of English as a medium of instruction. 
The above stated policy clearly indicates the need to examine the teaching of Yoruba 
and English for effective learning. 
Two major problems were identified: 

(i) the inadequate supply of teachers who were well trained in the use and 
teaching of both Yoruba and English. It had been erroneously assumed 
that all teachers can teach their mother tongue competently without trai- 

(ii) the inadequacy and inappropriateness of existing Yoruba and English 
course books. Further findings have revealed that the problem of inef- 
fective teachers is by far the greater and more serious. Whereas inade- 
quate books in the hands of good teachers could still lead to effective 
and efficient learning on the part of the pupils; in contrast, the most 
adequate books, when placed in the hands of poor teachers, could be 
less effective educationally. 

It would seem therefore that what really defeats all efforts to improve the stan- 
dard of primary school teaching in Nigeria today is the tacit assumption underlying 
the existing policy of the Government concerning the teaching and the use of the 
English Language as the instructional medium. This assumption is that every 
primary school teacher can teach the English language effectively and also use it in 
teaching other subjects to the pupils appropriately and productively. The Project re- 
jected that assumption and instead advocated the policy of using specialist teachers 
and some gifted regular classroom teachers, who could benefit by further training, 
to teach the English language as a subject so that the pupils could gain an effective 
communication-oriented proficiency in the language. From the beginning, the Pro- 
ject believed that that proficiency would at least be comparable to that of pupils 
under the educational policy that requires the children to learn the language and also 
learn other school subjects through its medium in the latter half of their primary 
education programme. 

It will be recalled that the existing government policy specifies the teaching of 
English as a school subject through primary school and its adoption as a medium of 
instruction after an initial period of using the child's mother tongue for about three 
years. In contrast, the Project advocated the policy which specifies just the teaching 
of English as a second language for the purpose of developing in the children effecti- 
ve communicative competence in the language. This means that in terms of hours of 
exposure, the existing government policy has an advantange over the Project policy. 

For example, in the last three years, except when the child learns his mother ton- 
gue as a school subject, through the government policy, he is constantly being expo- 
sed to the English language in all his lessons. In contrast, the Project expects the 
child to be exposed to English for the maximum number of hours allocated to the 


teaching of English as a subject within the school curriculum. That allocation would 
be for each of the six years of primary education. The factors that led the Project 
sponsors to believe in the efficacy of the Project policy were the following: 

(i) the provision of a good model of English language usage; 

(ii) the systematic presentation of well structured language content; and 

(iii) abundant provision of texts and teaching aids. 

In constrast, the government policy normally exposes the children to various grades 
of models most of which are grossly inadequate and inconsistent. For example, it is 
common knowledge that a usage advocated by the English teacher is often at 
variance with the usages of the teachers of other subjects in the same school. 

Secondly, as a result of the inadequate models presented to the children, they tend 
to acquire wrong knowledge and skills which they have to unlearn in later life when 
they are exposed to better models. 

Thirdly, the government policy robs the children of the joy of learning secondary 
language for certain secondary purposes which are desired by the children. Quite of- 
ten, the children are forced to struggle at the same time with both new concepts and 
new language forms to express them. Thus, language learning is usually carried out 
with tears. Maximum joy is derived from learning a second or foreign language 
when one has the opportunity to learn just those aspects of it that one requires for 
certain identified purposes. When a policy requires one to learn everything he learns 
at school through the medium of a second language which one has not mastered, the 
aspects of the language which one is being called upon to learn may become too 
technical for one's own personal liking. The Project policy does not impose on the 
children such constraints. It encourages them to learn to express aspects of normal 
everyday communication in the new language. So they learn only what they would 
like to use daily and what they could in fact use to non-speakers of Yoruba around 
them within the multilingual and multicultural Nigerian community. 

Finally, the government policy imposes a very heavy syllabus on the children in 
order to enable them have maximal capability to learn through the language in the 
last three years of primary education. To that end, the children have got to acquire 
very quickly all the basic structures and vocabulary items of the language. Also, 
they have got to master all the basic skills. In contrast, the Project imposes a less- 
demanding but more result-oriented«syllabus on the children. Their vocabulary 
items are generally wider and richer but the required syntactic patterns are more 
functionally-oriented. Since emphasis is on communicative competence and the po- 
licy requires the children to become permanently literate through the instrumentality 
of their mother tongue, the programme can afford to put almost all emphasis on 
oracy in the first year. 

Since the Project sponsors had earlier identified the gross inadequacy of teachers 
and instructional materials as major problems of the effective use of language in 
education, it was agreed as a matter of policy that there should be intensive training 


of teachers and extensive develjpment of suitable instructional materials. Further 
discussion on teacher training and material development will be covered in later 

(iii) Implementation 

The various activities of the Project which aimed at effectively implementing the 
policy already summarized can be taken together as various aspects of curriculum 
work. As is well known, curriculum work can be seen in the following parts: Curri- 
culum Planning, Curriculum Development, Curriculum Implementation, Curricu- 
lum Evaluation and Curriculum Revision and Renewal. However, in order to pre- 
sent the activities of the Project in relation to its conceptual basis, we shall take up 
those curriculum parts in later chapters. 




1 . See A.B. Fafunwa, History of Education in Nigeria. George Allen Allen & Union, London, 1974, 
pp. 16-49 for further details. 

2. A.B. Fafunwa, Ibid, Page 81 

3. Memorandum on Educational policy in British Tropical Africa and 2374 (1925). 

4. Ibid. 

5. Ibid. National Policy on Education, page 12. 

6. A.B. Fafunwa, The Psychological Development of children from 0 to 6 in Developing countries. 
UNESCO meeting of Experts, Urbana, Illinois, U.S.A. 1974. 

7. (a) UNESCO Monograph on Fundamental Education: Vol. VIII, The Use of Vernacular Lan- 

guages in Education, Paris, 1953. 

(b) E.C. Roland, Yoruba and English - a problem of co-existence, "African Language Studies, 
SOAAS, London, 1963. 

(c) W.E. Bull, The Use of Vernacular Language in Education, Hymes, Harper and Row, N.Y. , 

(d) Judson T. Shaplin et al. Survey of a Proposed National Educational Research Council in 
Nigeria - urged urgent investigation into Language instruction in primary school and the re- 
lative nature of roles of English and the mother tongue, May, 1962. 

(e) The 1966 report on English Language Teaching in Nigeria, co-sponsored by the Nigerian 
National Universities Commission, Federal Ministry of Education & Funded by the Ford 
Foundation and the British Council, recommended careful inquiry into the mother tongue 
and their social and educational utility and a decision on language policy for Nigeria. 

(0 A June 1968 report by Judson & Marjorie Shaplin, commissioned by the Ford Foundation 
to review Grade II teacher Training St Institutes of Education activities, made lengthy com- 
mentary on the problems in the teaching of language & reading in the primary schools of 

(g) Papers contributed at the Week-end Seminar on Yoruba Language and Literature. Decem- 
ber 13 - 16, 1969 at the University of Ife, Ile-Ife. See A. Afolayan, O. Oyelaran and A.B. 

8. Fafunwa, A.B. Bliss B. "The Effect of Bilingualism on the abstract and concrete Thinking ability 
of Yoruba Children", University of Ife, Ile-Ife, 1967. 

9. Afolayan, A (1984) "The English Language in Nigerian Education as an Agent of Proper Multi- 
lingual and Multicultural Development". Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Develop- 
ment. Vol.5 No.l, 1984. Page 1 - 22. 

1 0. Op. cit National Policy on Education . 

1 1 . Op. cit page 4. 


Plans and Strategies 

A. Assumptions and Objectives of the Project 

The Six-Year Primary Project was first discussed at a meeting between the director 
of the Institute of Education, University of Ife, Professor A. Babs Fafunwa and the 
Ford Foundation officials late in 1968. The research design as stipulated in the origi- 
nal proposal is summarized below: 

1 . Adopt a primary 1 Class of 30 to 40 Yoruba children in a given primary 

school in Ile-Ife. 

2. Teach them in Yoruba as a medium of instruction throughout primary 

3 . Teach English to them as a second language from the first day of school 
and throughou t the course . 

4. Arrange with a secondary school in Ife to admit all the children after 
primary education. 

5 . Give an intensive course in English during the first year in the secondary 

6. Let children complete the rest of secondary education normally. 

7. Compare the experimental children with others primarily in terms of 
academic achievement, and secondarily in terms of social adjustment, 
enterprise and resourcefulness. 


It was hypothesised that: 

The children will not be worse academically than the children who follow the con- 
ventional system. In addition, it was expected that they will be better adjusted, more 
relaxed, more enterprising and more resourceful than their counterparts. 
In contrast, the overall objectives of the Project were later modified as follows:- 


(a) To develop a primary education curriculum with a strong surrender va- 
lue, since primary education is terminal for many Nigerian children; 

(b) To develop materials, together with appropriate methodology, for tea- 
ching the prepared curriculum effectively; 

(c) To use the Yoruba Language as the medium of instruction throughout, 
in order to demonstrate that the primary instruction, when given in the 
child's mother tongue rather than in a second or foreign language, is 
more effective and meaningful; 

(d) To teach the English language effectively as a second language throug- 
hout the six years of primary education; 

(e) To evaluate the project continually with a view to determining the pre- 
sence or absence of certain significant differences between the experi- 
mental and the control groups. 

From the foregoing, it is clear that the Project is a Developmental Project - an 
evolving Project in the sense that apart from the initial objectives, other factors 
which were not contemplated in the original plan entered into the scheme and had to 
be taken care of as the Project progressed. For instance, the Project planners did not 
realize the extent of the inadequacy and/or inappropriateness of the existing tea- 
ching materials in the field. Initially, it was thought that mere translation or slight 
modification of materials would be sufficient; but as the planning progressed, it be- 
came obvious that new materials had to be developed. The Project selected five cur- 
riculum areas for the experiment: 



Social and Cultural Studies 
Yorubr. language arts 
English as a Second Language. 

Three major results were envisaged. First, the Project would make it possible to 
test the validity of the claim that primary education received in the mother tongue is 
richer and more meaningful than that received in a second language. 12 

Secondly, solution to the problems accompanying the adoption of a Nigerian 
Language, (such as Yoruba) as the medium of instruction would be stimulated. 
Thirdly, it was hoped that the experiment would suggest a solution to the perennial 
problem of teaching English effectively to Nigerian children. 

B. Strategies of the Project 

The overall design of the Project included the following :- 

(a) the selection, with the approval of the Ministry of Education of the 
Four Western States, of a typical primary school in Ile-Ife township to 


-~ j 

serve as a site for the experiment with two arms of Year I Class designa- 
ted as the experimental group and a third arm as a control; 

(b) the establishment in the Institute of Education of a corps of professio- 
nals and supporting staff to serve as a Steering Committee and to work 
with the Primary school for the in-service training of teachers, the im- 
plementation of new methods and materials and the supervision of the 

(c) the establishment of a broader advisory committee for the Project consi- 
sting of University Lecturers and Professors from Ibadan, Lagos and 
Ife, as well as some teachers from primary and secondary schools in the 
Western State; 

(d) the setting up of an Executive Committee, headed by the Director of the 
Project, to direct the finances of the Project and of all Project activities 
on day to day basis; 

(e) organization of curriculum writing teams in each of the five subjects 
chosen by the Project for instructional purposes and comprising univer- 
sity teachers, primary and secondary schools' teachers and principals in 
the following subjects: 

(i) Social and Cultural Studies which embrace music, art, folklore, li- 
terature, civics, geography, history etc.; 

(ii) Science which includes health and sanitation; 

(iii) Mathematics; 

(iv) Yoruba language arts; 

(v) English as a second language; 

(0 formation of a panel of Nigerian consultants in several disciplines (part- 
ly drawn from the large advisory committee (vide (c) above) to determi- 
ne technical details and strategies, and assist in coining, borrowing, 
translating, etc. 

Steps were taken to solve the different types of problems concerning the setting up 
of the Project. First, a series of discussions and seminars were held involving many 
experts in academic, professional linguistic fields. 

Understandably, Ministry of Education officials and the public at large were ini- 
tially sceptical about the reasonableness of using Yoruba as a medium of primary 
education in the Western State. A substantial fear was that of lowering educational 
attainment; but by far the greater doubt was political. It was feared on the one hand 
that the proposal might not be in the national interest of the Federation of Nigeria 
as a whole as it would tend to emphasize Nigeria's language difference: and on the 
other that it might result in handicapping the children of the State for secondary 
education compared with children of other States. Eventually however, the Ministry 
of Education (as well as the Ife Local Education Authority) gave its full support and 
even allowed the Project a free hand in adapting the chosen school for the experi- 


The provision of teachers for the Project was a problem. The choice of the specia- 
list teacher of English did not present as fundamental a problem as that of the gene- 
ral teachers, particularly in view of earlier remarks on teacher education in the field 
of Yoruba. There was also the problem of the dislocation of the Project that would 
be caused by sudden transfers of the Project teachers. 

Eventually, it was decided that Grade Two teachers of proven interest should be 
employed. With the active support and co-operation of the former Western State 
Ministry of Education, the Local School Board and the local Branch of the Inspec- 
torate Division of the Ministry of Education, the right calibre of teachers were selec- 
ted and the Ministry guaranteed their continuity of service in that school. 

However, there was an initial actual classroom problem. While the teacher of 
English chosen for the Project was found most stimulating to the pupils, the tea- 
chers selected for Yoruba were ill-equipped for conducting interesting lessons. The 
Project immediately ran into the danger of being sabotaged as the few English les- 
sons were overshadowing the other lessons conducted in Yoruba (including story- 
telling and singing). 

The experience emphasized the necessity for an initial training of high quality per- 
sonnel - teachers, course designers, textbook writers, Inspectors of Education, tea- 
cher trainers — for a successful wide-scale adoption of a Nigerian Language as the 
medium of education. 

There was the initial problem of setting up the teaching arm of the Project. The 
choice of the place was not an easy task, particularly with reference to the location 
of the control group. Some of the scholars felt that the same school was ideal for the 
two, while others felt that different schools should be used. Even the optimum size 
of the Project for valid results was not an easy choice. Eventually, St. Stephen's 'A' 
primary school at Modakeke, Ile-Ife — a three-arm school which later developed in- 
to a five-arm school, was chosen. Two of the three arms were designated experimen- 
tal classes, and the third the control. In the experimental classes, all subjects of the 
new curriculum, except English, were taught in Yoruba; and the English language 
was taught as a school subject by a specialist teacher of English. But in the control 
class, the new curriculum was taught under the existing language pcl^y of using 
Yoruba in the first three years and English in the last three years as the medium of 

The next important aspect of the actual setting up of the teaching arms of the Pro- 
ject was the enrolment and classification of children. It was decided that the chil- 
dren should be enrolled in the normal manner for the three arms. It was eventually 
decided that there should be regular intake of two new experimental and one control 
class in Primary I each year and no fresh intake in the upper classes in the succee- 



ding years. Thus the pupil population in the experimental and control classes was 
spread out by class level and year as shown below: 


Project Annual Pupil Intake: St. Stephen's 'A' Primary School In 
Ile-Ife Town:- 1970 — 1975 (Year 1 only) 








Experimental A 
and B 







Control C 







In 1973, the Project decided to extend the experiment to rural and semi-urban areas 
of the former Western State. To this end, ten schools known as Proliferation 
Schools were included. A total of 700 children were enrolled in Year 1 of that year. 
Whereas provision was made for the Pilot School to admit a fresh intake into prima- 
ry one every year for six years, the Proliferation Schools admitted only one set of 
pupils and carried them through the six years of primary education. 


Pupil Population at the Proliferation Schools (1973) 

No. of Pupils 

admitted to 

Year I in 1973 

1. N.U.D. Muroko Road, Ilesa (Experimental) 

70 (two arms) 

2. G.T.T.C. Demonstration School, Ilesa " 


3. Methodist School, Ike-Omi Osu - (Control) 


4. U.M.C. Demonstration School, Ibadan (Exp) 


S. L.A. School, Idiope, Oyo (Experimental) 


6. St. Andrew's College (Demonstration School, 


7. D.C. School Elemo, I wo (Control) 


8. Baptist College Demonstration School, Iwo 


9. D.C. Araromi School, Iwo (Experimental) 


10. St. Philips Anglican School, Ilaro Ifo (Experi- 





Funding by Supportive Agencies 

1. The Ford Foundation: 

As mentioned earlier, in the latter part of 1968, the Director of the Institute of Edu- 
cation, University of Ife, held discussions with the Ford Foundation representative 
in Nigeria and sought financial support for a 'Six Year Primary Education in Yoru- 
ba.' The Foundation promised support and requested a detailed proposal including 
financial estimates. The first financial request was for one hundred thousand Naira 
(N 100,000 or US $170,^00) for the first two years of the project. The Foundation 
later made other grants totalling over Two hundred and fifty thousand US dollars 
($250,000) between 1970 and 1976. 

In addition to the direct financial support, the Foundation at the request of the 
Institute assigned a renowned linguistics expert in the person of Mrs Marjori Sha- 
plin to work with the Project on a part-time basis for a period of three years (1969 - 
1972). The Foundation also assigned to the Project a Nigerian specialist teacher of 
English at its own expense for two years. It also assisted the Project in the ordering 
of certain materials and equipment needed by the Project. For example Yoruba 
Typewriters, Scanning machines, and bold letter typewriters for producing mate- 
rials for beginner readers at the expense of the Foundation. Two members of the 
Institute were sponsored for higher degrees in the United States, and two teams of 
teachers engaged at the main Project school were also sponsored for educational 
visits to the United States in 1974 and 1976. 

2. Ministry of Education 

The former Western State Ministry of Education later known as the Oyo State Mini- 
stry of Education after 1975, was involved in the Project right from its inception 
and made the following contributions: 

(i) granted permission for the use of state schools for the Project; 

(ii) provided and paid the salaries of teachers assigned to the Project; 

(iii) allowed teachers to remain on the Project throughout the duration of 
the experiment; 

(iv) recognized the Project as a duty post when the teachers on the Project 
were qualified for such posting; 

(v) allowed its representatives to participate in the writing and the evalua- 
tion workshops; and 

(vi) periodically sent a team of inspectors to the school to evaluate the Pro- 


3. Universities 

The staff of three Federal Universities namely, the Universities of Ife, Ibadan, and 
Lagos participated actively in the Project fight from its inception. 

(a) The University of Ife 

The Six Year Primary Project was based at the Institute of Education, 
University of Ife where it was initiated, organized and administered on 
the day to day basis. The former Director of the Institute, Professor A. 
Babs Fafunwa conceived the Project and sold the ideas to the Ford 
Foundation for funding. The former Vice-Chancellor of Ife, the late 
Professor H.A. Oluwasanmi gave his instant approval for the Project 
and supported the Institute's application to ihe Ford Foundation for 
financial assistance. 

The University of Ife made the following substantial contributions to the success of 
;he Project: 

(i) Staffing 

The University contributed nine staff members to the Project: The 
Director of the Institute who directed the Project; a Project-co- 
ordinator; a specialist English teacher first assigned to the Project 
by the Ford Foundation and later absorbed by the university; a 
mathematics co-ordinator; a Yoruba co-ordinator; a fine art spe- 
cialist and three grade II teachers attached to the institute. In ad- 
dition, a number of Faculty and Institute staff as well as some 
academic staff from the Faculties of Arts and Science participated 
in the Project on a voluntary basis. 

(ii) Office Space 

The University allowed the Institute of Education to use part of its 
office and storage space for the Project and its facilities for the 
annual writing workshops. 

(iii) Finance 

At the later stage of the Project when the Ford Foundation fun- 
ding ceased, the university came to the aid of the Project by 
making HI 00,000 available. 

The Project was not limited to the University of Ife Staff alone; 
interested educators and language specialists from the Universities 
of Ibadan and Lagos also participated in the Project as the list in 
the Appendix 1 shows. As was the case with the staff of the Uni- 
versitiesof Ife, Ibadan and Lagos, participants attended many of 

the four to six-week long vacation writing workshops and contri- 
buted immensely to the development of teaching materials and 
aids for the Six Year Primary Education Project. Some of them 
also served on the advisory panel as shown in Appendix 1 

(b) The University of Ibadan's Educational Evaluation Centre headed by 
Professor E.A. Yoloye assumed leadership for continuous evaluation of 
the Project from the second year of the Project till the end of it even 
though two outside evaluators (Tucker & Cziko) in association with a 
University of Ife staff (Ojerinde) conducted special evaluation on the 
Project Children between 1971 and 1982. 

It is also gratifying to note that the Universities, particularly Ibadan, 
had encouraged many of their post-graduate students in education to 
conduct M.A. and Ph.D. research projects on certain aspects of the Six 
Year Primary Project. For example, Univeristy of Ibadan, Institute of 
Education's Post-Graduate students wrote their M.Ed, dissertation and 
Ph.D. (one number) on academic achievements and emotional adjust- 
ment of the Project children between 1979 and 1980. Two of the Project 
Staff at the University of Ife received their Ph.D. degrees in areas rela- 
ted to the Project, viz. Ojerinde (1979) and Macaulay (1982). Numerous 
papers were presented at National and International Conferences on the 
Six Year Primary Project by University of Ife, Lagos and Ibadan staff 
at various times between 1970 and 1980 (See Bibliography - for a partial 

(c) Representatives, individuals and delegates from Nigerian Institutions of 
higher learning as well as those from foreign universities visited the Pro- 
ject and held discussions with the Project organizers between 1972 and 
1982. Two scholars who were post graduate students of the University 
of Illinois, U.S.A. were sponsored by UNESCO for two months with 
the Project at Ife to collect material on mother-tongue education. The 
two have since completed their Ph.D. studies and returned to Mali. 

(d) It can be safely said that the Six Year Primary Project is one of the very 
few national Projects that promoted inter-university collaboration 
among some Nigerian universities between 1970 and 1980's. 

4. Parents' Contribution 

Two things compelled an early contact with the parents of the children. The first 
was the stiff opposition to the Project reported by some headmasters. They reported 


that many parents - the majority of whom were highly educated, had threatened to 
remove their children from the school if they were put in 'Project' classes. Their 
opposition was due to the erroneous ideas that they had about the Project. They fea- 
red that the children in the Project class would not be as proficient in English as 
their counterparts in the 'normal' classes and as a result these children might miss 
selection to the secondary schools or fail to do well in the school if by chance they 
were selected. 

The attitude of the parents could be summed up in the words of one of the Project 
teachers as follows: 

'The news of the special class was met with mixed feelings. Many literate but igno- 
rant parents doubted the success of the experiment and wanted to withdraw their 
children. They feared later progress of the children in this experimental class. They 
put such questions as: Is the teaching of science in primary one not a bad experi- 
ment? How could a subject meant for post-primary course be successfully taught in 
primary one without confusing the children from the initial stage? How would you 
express mathematical terms in Yoruba? In which secondary school will the pupils 
continue this system of education? How will such children compete successfully 
with their counterparts who are brought up in the traditional system, is Matimatiki 
for mathematics and Sayensi for science not ridiculous?' Such questions were 
patiently explained. For example, it was explained that the science syllabus for pri- 
mary one concentrates on things that would interest the children, such as playing 
with sand and water and colour producing materials. And it is interesting to note 
that pupils were always happy when it was time for science. They never iiked to miss 
the lesson! The novelty and the play-method adopted made it interesting and it be- 
came the children's favourite subject. It was also explained that the organizers of 
the course were not only mature and experienced scholars, but also devoted parents. 
They were therefore attempting to satisfy the needs of the children, including their 
post primary education. 

Again, it was explained that the use of words such as Matimatiki and Sayensi 
should not appear embarrassing or ridiculous because once they are in used, they 
would become part of the Yoruba language. It is recalled that words such as raisi 
(rice), 'leedi' (lead), 'kampeni' (campaign) have now become Yoruba words. 

There was also the need to direct parents as to the type oi help they could offer to 
their children which would not be in conflict with the methods being used in school, 
especially in English and Mathematics. Serious attempts were therefore made to ex- 
plain the objectives of the Project to parents. In this regard, the teachers of the Pro- 
ject deserve great commendation. Several time, the teachers arranged for meetings 
with the parents in order to explain the Project. Parents were also invited to school 
to see the children at work. The work done by the children was also displayed at 
Parent-Teacher meetings. The fears of the parents were allayed partly by the expla- 
nations given at the meetings and partly by their children's performances in and out- 
side the classroom. 


Although at the inception, there were threats of withdrawal of children from Pro- 
ject classes. By the end of the first year, the class lost only two pupils, one by trans- 
fer of parents to another town and the other by death. The protesting parents later 
became great advocates of the Project. For example, the illiterate ones who never 
dreamt of being in a position to help their children with their school home work, 
since they themselves did not attend any school, found themselves helping their 
children in Social and Cultural Studies, Science and even in Mathematics in a small 
way, since the medium of teaching and learning is Yoruba. 

Parents also contributed some visual aids in the form of traditional artifacts — 
utensils, drums, musical instruments etc. for the teaching of social and cutural stu- 
dies and science. The Project children on the other hand were encouraged to ask 
their parents to teach them folklore, stories, songs and proverbs and to enquire 
from their elders how various festivals and certain cultural ceremonies were perfor- 
med, e.g. naming ceremonies, marriage ceremonies, funeral rites etc. Both the Pro- 
ject teachers and the Project organizers reduced most of these into writing and re- 
corded many more on tape. 

5. Local Resource Persons 

One of the important lessons learnt by the Project organizers was the invaluable 
contribution that could be made by non-literate people in the rural areas. The rural 
community tends to retain the original language patterns and concepts as compared 
with their educated counterparts. Many of the original cultural and social aspects of 
a Nigerian language are generally retained by the rural communities in contrast to 
speakers in urban areas. 

At the very inception of the Project, the organizers realized the need to consult the 
old and the wise in the village communities for lexis, phrases, concepts and cultural 
practices not commonly used in urban areas. Teachers, pupils, panel writers and the 
Project organizers paid extensive visits and made contact with the village elders who 
are experts in their own right. Often times, certain concepts in science, or mathema- 
tics or social and cultural studies in particular defied the Project workers' under- 
standing and in many cases, the rural dwellers were familiar with such concepts in 
Yoruba. It therefore became a policy of the Project not to coin, substitute or trans- 
late a concept until the rural sages had been consulted. As a result of this, materials 
were greatly enriched. 

6. Professor u nd Mrs Marjorie Shaplin 

One individual consultant who needs special mention is the late Mrs Marjorie Sha- 
plin, a specialist in linguistics at the University of Washington, Missouri, U.S.A. 
and her husband, the late Professor J.T. Shaplin who visited Nigeria in 1968 as Ford 


Foundation Consultants. It was during the course of their visit that Mrs Shaplin 
learnt of the Project proposal and she responded very positively to it. The accept- 
ance of the proposal for Ford Foundation funding was largely due to her support 
and strong representation to the Foundation. The Ford Foundation later employed- 
her as consultant to the Project. Mrs Shaplin had more than a passing consultant's 
interest in the Project; she became personally involved by offerirg her personal assi- 
stance to the Project even after she ceased to be a Foundation Consultant. 

During her short visits to the Project at Ife, she participated actively and interac- 
ted freely and intimately with the Project/teaching staff. She ran on-the-job train- 
ing courses for Project teachers and assisted in programming the three educational 
tours arranged for the Project teachers between 1974 and 1976. She also assisted in 
guiding and counselling a senior member of the Project to complete her masters' 
degree at her university in Missouri, U.S.A. and served as one of the same staff's 
advisers when she was working on her Ph.D. at the University of Ibadan between 
1977 and 1981. Mrs Marjorie Shaplin freely and fully gave her services to the Pro- 
ject and spared no pains in assisting the organizers in their self-appointed task. The 
Project will always remember her invaluable contributions. 


12. Ibid. 







Curriculum Development 

Strategies For Curriculum Development 

As indicated earlier, the Project assembled various experts from the Ministry of 
Education, Colleges of Education, Grade Two Teacher Training Colleges, the Pri- 
mary Schools and the Universities. Among these experts were professional evalua- 
tors. These various experts were from the Yoruba speaking communities of the 
country. In this connection, three Universities were involved: Univeristy of Lagos, 
University of Ibadan and University of Ife. The Ministry of Education was that of 
the former Western State which covered present-day Ogun, Ondo and Oyo States. 
Four Grade Two Teacher Training Colleges were involved and they were represen- 
ted in almost all activities concerned with curriculum work. Out of this large body, a 
curriculum development team was constituted. The team met to consider the propo- 
sals for curriculum development. The aims and objectives of the Project were revie- 
wed and the following decisions were arrived at: 

(1) The Project was to organize writing workshops for the development and 
evaluation of curriculum materials. 

(2) The Project was to examine existing curriculum materials in all the 5 
teaching subjects identified, for suitability and where found unsuitable, 
new materials were to be produced. 

(3) The Project was to develop materials with appropriate methodology for 
teaching and learning the prepared curriculum effectively. 

(4) Curriculum materials were to be developed in both Yoruba and English. 

(5) As curriculum materials were developed, they were to be tested in the 
classroom by the classroom teachers and returned with comments and 
criticism for further revision at the workshop. 

(6) The main components of the curriculum materials were to be: 

(a) Comprehensive syllabus for each subject 

(b) Comprehensive Schemes of work for each subject 

(c) Pupil's Texts 


(d) Pupil's Workbooks 

(e) Supplementary Readers for Pupils 
(0 Teacher's Guides 

(g) Language Medium Servicing Texts 

(h) Visual Aids for each of the subject areas 

(i) Examination Data Bank. 

Initial Stages of Curriculum Development 

The Project was formally launched in January 1970 with the admission of three 
arms of class I with two Experimental classes and one control class. At the com- 
mencement of classes, the Project organizers were still busy working out the strate- 
gies of implementation. The first workshop could not be held before the long vaca- 
tion period because the team members were all engaged with their regular assign- 
ments at their various institutions. 

The first workshop ran from 15th August to 12th September, 1970 and began 
with the attempt to find solutions to the various problems regarding the curriculum, 
the syllabus and teaching materials. Its specific objectives were: 

(a) to produce a coherent and comprehensive primary school programme 
capable of providing a sound educational foundation for well- 
integrated future citizens of the Western State and of Nigeria in this 
technological and scientific age; 

(b) to produce teaching materials, teachers' guides as well as pupils' books 
necessary for teaching the programme during the first two years of the 

(c) to evaluate the working of the Project so far and make necessary sugge- 
stions for improvement. 

Thus, in view of the objectives set for the workshop and what it actually achieved, 
it could now in retrospect be seen as initiating in Nigeria a revolution in curriculum 

It is also significant to note that it was from this workshop that these three very 
significant recommendations concerning the working of the Project were made: 

(a) In view of the fact that the major issue of the enquiry in the Project is 
the medium of instruction, both the experimental class and control class 
should follow the same programme using identical materials. 

(b) As a result of the first recommendation (and also for the purposes of 
serving as examples to non-Yoruba speaking Africans who might like to 
refer to the experience of the Project), the syllabus, schemes of work 
and (where possible or necessary) even the teaching materials should be 
produced in both Yoruba and English. 



(c) For the uniformity of orthographic conventions to be followed, the 
Yoruba versions of all materials produced should be edited within a sin- 
gle framework. 

Undoubtedly, those were far-reaching issues of curriculum development. The 
third point is particularly significant for the contribution of the Project towards the 
revolution and modernization of the orthography of modern Yoruba. 

Until the full curriculum was developed and the instructional materials in its sup- 
port had been provided, the annual Writing Workshop continued to take place. In- 
deed some supplementary shorter Writing Workshops also took place. These 
Workshops turned out to be not only channels for producing instructional materials 
but also for promoting the effective and useful flow of information among all those 
involved or interested in the activities of the Project. In addition, the Workshops 
provided on-the-job training for the teachers and opportunities for overall evalua- 
tion of all activities and products of the Project. For example, teachers became more 
involved in the discussion of the grass root philosophy and the organic structure of 
the Project. Similarly, some principles of educational practice emerged from the in- 
teractions among the various categories of participants during the workshops. The 
decision to write materials for two years together during each Workshop could be ci- 
ted for illustration; for it was based on two major considerations: 

(a) that it is a sound principle to prepare materials ahead of the year of in- 
struction so as to give teachers ample time to study and understand the 
new instructional materials; and 

(b) that such advance preparation afforded breathing space for making ne- 
cessary changes and adjustments. 

Certainly, these are sound principles that have to be applied in any meaningful 
process of curriculum work, particularly between the stage of development and the 
stage of implementation. The Project presented some challenges of development in 
respect of the languages. In contrast, the challenge in respect of the English Langua- 
ge was towards solving probable problems that the pupils who served as the lead- 
group of the Project might face in their mastery and use of the English Language in 
the future, beginning with secondary education. 

A. The Yoruba Language Writing Panel 

Composition of the Yoruba Writing Panel 

As with the other subject areas, members of the writing panel were selected from the 
Universities, teacher training colleges, the classroom and the local community. In 
this case, special attention was given to the selection of specialists who had good 
knowledge and control of the Yoruba language. The Project organizers were cons- 
cious of the new status being created for the Yoruba language by virtue of its use as 
the medium of instruction for the entire period of six years of primary education. 

, 31 


Review of the Yoruba Syllabus 

The existing syllabus was found to be very narrow and to a large extent lessons re- 
volved round the Yoruba readers which could not be considered as language cour- 
ses. Extensive work therefore went into the design of a new and comprehensive syl- 
labus which incorporated the different units of Yoruba language arts. This catered 
for the extensive development of the four basic language skills of listening, spea- 
king, reading and writing, while providing for the learning of grammar and litera- 
ture. The syllabus took cognizance of the fact that Yoruba would be used as the ve- 
hicle of learning for six years and would be developed as a subject for at least the 
same length of time. 

To this end, it became necessary for all the writing panels except the English wri- 
ting panel, to meet to discuss the syllabus content of the other subject areas - Mathe- 
matics, Science and Social and Cultural Studies, in relation to the Yoruba language 
syllabus. General guidelines and principles of development were agreed upon and 
where necessary, specific items or units were included in the Yoruba language sylla- 
bus to enhance work done in the other subject areas, especially in Social and Cultu- 
ral Studies. Care was taken to achieve a measure of integration in all the syllabuses 
since the medium of instruction was going to be Yoruba, thus creating a channel for 
better integrated and more cohesive learning. 

Writing Procedure 

The Yoruba medium content writers worked closely together not only on the sylla- 
buses but also at every stage of the curriculum development, since every major lin- 
guistic decision had to be taken together. These stages of curriculum development 
saw a great deal of the internal development of the Yoruba language. This was most 
obvious at the lexical level where new everyday-items, new technical terminologies 
and other items of language had to be found to meet the educational demands. In 
this connection, the Yoruba language can be seen to have employed all the three 
methods that languages usually exploit for expanding their lexical inventory to meet 
new demands, namely, 

(a) the creation of new items through the exploitation of morphemic and 
phonemic resources of the language, 

(b) a change in the totality of the preferential coverage in existing items, and 

(c) the borrowing of items from other languages. 

In this way, the Project has demonstrated how the Yoruba language can overco- 
me such local deficiency as may be found in any language which education may wish 
to adopt as a medium of instruction. Similarly, within these processes, principles of 
lexical expansion to meet specific fundamental needs of various disciplines such as 
Mathematics and Science were also evolved. These principles will be explained as 
each subject area is presented in subsequent sections of this book. 



The Yoruba Language Materials 

For the first time in the history of Yoruba language teaching at the primary level, 
learning and teaching texts were developed extensively and in consonance with the 
units of learning recommended in the syllabus. A total of twenty-five titles were de- 
veloped for the promotion of Yoruba language skills. These covered the following 

(a) Reading Readiness Texts; 

(b) Pupils' Course Books (Years 1 to 6); 

(c) Teachers' Guides (Years 1 to 6); 

(d) Work Books for Pupils; 

(e) Supplementary Readers; 

(0 Special Comprehension Texts. 

(a) Reading Readiness Texts 

These were in three parts and were aimed at developing the readiness 
exercises of: 

(i) visual perception and discrimination; 

(ii) auditory perception and discrimination; 

(iii) concept formation; 

(iv) left to right progression; 

(v) space awareness; 

(vi) logical sequence; 

(vii) sensory awareness. 

(b) The Pupils ' Course Books (Years 1-6) 

These contained reading passages and language exercises, including grammar and 
composition. The contents were carefully sequenced and special effort was made to 
ensure that all concepts developed were reinforced and expanded. Since this was the 
pupils' mother tongue, various relevant topics were incorporated in their course rea- 
ders from the other subjects areas, such as Mathematics and Science. This would 
not have been easy or even possible with the development of English Language 
medium texts because of the degree of the complex language structures which might 
be required. 

However, for the experimental group, some effort was made by the English team 
to provide simple English supplementary readers described as servicing texts, which 
contained as much as was possible, of additional new concepts which needed reinfor- 
cing. By and large, the freedom in text development and learning which was expe- 
rienced by the writers, the teachers and the learners was tremendous. 



(c) Teachers ' Guides (Years 1-6) 

These Texts were designed to guide the teachers in their presentation of the lessons. 
The scheme of work included in the Guides taught the teachers to present their les- 
sons in the correct sequence with the appropriate materials and methods. 

Hitherto, teachers had not been using carefully structured lesson plans for the tea- 
ching of Yoruba as a subject because teaching of the mother tongue was taken for 
granted. Rather, most of the lesson periods in the past were spent on story-telling 
with short reading spells. As a result of this background, during the workshop, the 
writing panel, whose members were also all educators invited the classroom teachers 
for training in the use of the materials being developed. 

As learning units were written, teachers were taught to prepare visual aids for tea- 
ching. The teaching processes were also explained to them for effective classroom 
interaction. Above all, teachers were taught to prepare their lesson notes in Yoruba - 
a process that was hitherto unheard of. They had some difficulty doing this in the 
beginning but as they continued in the system, they learned and succeeded to the 
point where they could serve as resource persons in this and other capacities. 

(d) Work Books 

These contained language exercises mainly for reinforcement. They were designed 
to cover the items in the course books which needed to be reinforced and they were 
such that children could work on their own. 

(e) Supplementary Readers 

Supplementary readers were developed to stimulate the pupils' interest in reading. 
This was considered highly necessary because most of the pupils belonged to an envi- 
ronment that is predominantly oral. Contents were related to the children's interest 
and life situations. They were meant to be read and enjoyed. 

(f) Special Comprehension Texts 

These are additional reading materials which were also related to the children's in- 
terest. Comprehension exercises were included in this set of readers to train the rea- 
ders and help them to develop a thorough understanding of the passages they read. 
With this, a distinction was made between reading for fun and reading to learn. 



Table 4 Yoruba Texts and the purposes for which they were developed 


Purpose for which 





Mo o 


Reading Readiness 




Reading Readiness 


Igbaradi fun Iwe Kika 


Reading Readiness 


Ojo, Ebe, ati Oke 




Iwe Kika I 


Course Reader 


Iwe Kika II 


Course Reader 


Iwe Idaraya 


Work Book 


Iwe Akakun 


Supplementary Reader 


Iwe Kika (Atunse Keji) 


Course Reader 




Supplementary Reader 


Awon Asa Iwe Kiko 


Learning to Write 


Bola Gbalude 


Supplementary Reader 


Akaye ati Akoye 


Comprehension Text 


Onilara Ko ri Ere Je 


Supplementary Reader 


Ijapa Alakogbagbe 


Supplementary Reader 


He La a wo 


Supplementary Reader 


Awon Asa Iwe Kiko 


Learning to Write 


Aye N lo (Akamo) 


Comprehension Text 


lye 0 (Akamo) 


Comprehension Text 


Ere Aladun (Iwe Akakun 4) 


Supplementary Reader 


Aba Ati liana Fun Kiko 

Yoruba fun Odun 1 — 6 

I— V 

Teacher's Guides 1—6 


Iwe Kika 5 


Course Text 


Alabi (Akakun 5 fun 



Teacher's Resource Book 


Iwe Kika Aladun 


Supplementary Reader 


Iwe Kika Pelu Idaraya 

Readers and Comprehen- 

sion with Language Exer- 


Yoruba Syllabuses 

1 . liana fun Kiko Yoruba 1 — 6 

2. Yoruba Syllabus 1 — 6 

3. Eto liana 

Eko fun 

Odun Kini 

4 >' " 

ii ii 

" Keji 

^ M it 

** ii 

" Keta 


it ii 

" Kerin 

•j ii ii 

it tt 

" Karun 


B. MATIMATIKI: (Mathematics) Writing Panel 

1 . Composition of the Mathematics Panel 

The Mathematics panel comprised university lecturers, a principal of a teacher trai- 
ning college and tutors handling subject matter and methods in teacher training col- 
leges and later, some secondary school principals. In attendance at most of the ses- 
sions of the panel were primary school teachers from the Project Schools. 

2. Review of Existing Materials 

Initially the panel conducted a thorough review of the existing mathe- 
matics textbooks and reached the conclusion that although the Entebbe 
book series was the closest to what the panel would consider adequate 
because of the dominance of its approach by the Set Theory, it could not 
be used without modification, restructuring etc. 

It decided that the format of Entebbe series should be used as it catered 
more adequately for the inadequacy of professional training which the 
teacher may have. For instance, in introducing a new lesson, the mate- 
rials to be used are listed and the steps the teacher has to take are explai- 
ned not in a skeletal form but in detail. 

A syllabus and a scheme of work covering each year of the six year 
primary school course were prepared. In deciding the contents for each 
book, the panel considered only the desirable goal for the year and not 
necessarily the requirements of the syllabus and scheme of work prepa- 
red by the Ministry of Education. 

This decision - of not following the Government syllabus rigidly - ga- 
ve rise to one of the objections raised against the series. The reply to the 
objection was that the series as a whole not only covers the government 
syllabus but also offers the pupils an enhanced programme. 

3. Writing Procedure 

In writing the books, suggestions were constantly sought and eagerly ac- 
cepted from the classroom teachers who were always invited to the 
workshops. As a matter of course, during each year's writing workshop, 
and before embarking on the ensuing year's work, a thorough review of 
the materials used in the previous year was carried out. The materials 
were then rewritten, if necessary, in the light of suggestions made by the 
Project teachers. The result was that, by and large, most of the exam- 
ples in the pupils' workbooks in their second year of existence had not 
only gone through a thorough revision but had also been tested in a 
actual classroom situation and found suitable. 



Each writer selected (or was given) a topic he or she was interested in 
developing with the understanding that the same person would be re- 
sponsible for writing on that topic for all the books (at least for the first 
three years) following the schemes already agreed upon at the beginning 
of the exercise. 

Initial Problems and Solutions 

In writing the Yoruba books, the writers were faced with three initial 
problems - of vocabulary, of reconciling (or synchronizing) the Yoruba 
numeration system with the Arabic system and of choosing one name 
out of the many names a number could be called which would facilitate 
computation (e.g. eewa meji ati eefa - is a better name for the numeral 
26 than eerindinlogbon) . 
(a) Vocabulary 

Vocabulary - In the choice of words, the guiding principle was that wher- 
ever there was a word in Yoruba that adequately or even vaguely des- 
cribed or connoted a concept, that word was preferred to any other. 
Where a decision had to be made between direct translation or coinage, 
the panel had the services of the linguistic experts at its disposal. If coin- 
age was recommended, then the task of finding a suitable word (or 
words) became the joint responsibility of the panel and the linguistic ex- 

Apart from instances where coinage or borrowing became necessary, 
the words used were words with which the child was already familiar. 
When, therefore, a special meaning in a mathematical context was given 
to the child, it would not be difficult for him to grasp. For example, we 
used the word akojopo for 'set', Since the child has an idea of the 
situation in which we can use the word to describe the new meaning it 
should not be difficult for him to grasp. 

Mention could be made here of some words with similar treatment 
e.g. ege, ila, iyokuro, ayorisi, isodipupo. The meaning of ege in normal 
usage is a fraction; a portion or a part cut off. The pupils should there- 
fore have little or no problem in grasping the mathematical meaning of 
ege - ila as a portion or part of a line. Similarly isodipupo means the act 
of increasing. To use it to describe multiplication is not far-fetched. 
Likewise as ebu is a part of, it is not out of tune to use it to connote frac- 

Where two Yoruba words are inter-changeably used in ordinary 
speech, care was taken to ascribe specific related meaning to each. For 
example 'iropo' xs restricted to 'addition' and 'aropo' to 'sum*; that is, 
the outcome of addition of numbers. There are however certain words 


v> 'J 

or concepts for which Yoruba words are not readily available. These 
words were absorbed into Yoruba -the Yoruba form being decided by 
the panel and the experts. Examples are 'pointi' (point), 'angu' (angle) 
'paraleli' (parallel) and 'figo' (figure). 

(b) Reconciling Yoruba and A rabic Numeration System 

The fact that the Yoruba system of numeration does not conform to a single pattern 
created a problem for the writers. We count in ones up to ten; in twenties (ogoogun) 
up to 200 (igba); in 200's (igbiigba) up to 2000 (egbeegbaa); and up to 20,000 (oke 
kan). On the other hand, the numeration system universally adopted goes beyond 
the 20,000 grouping. 

This problem as well as that of synchronizing the system with the decimal system 

was tackled as described below. In the Arabic system, the following places are pro- 
vided for: 

Place for one 
" " tens 
" " hundreds 
" " thousands 
" " ten thousands 
" " hundred thousands 
" " Millions. 

In Yoruba, we already have eyo, eewa, ogorun and egberun. Numbers are written 
as multiples of these. Thuf 546 is Ogorun 5 eewa 4 eyo 6. To provide other places, 
we proceed as follows: Since 1?>J {ogorun) is ogun in 5 places {ogun marun con- 
tracted to ogorun and 1000 is igba in 5 places (igba marun contracted to egberun), it 
follows that 10,000 should bear the contracted form of 2000 (egbaa) in 5 places, that 
is egbaa marun or egbaarun. In the same way 100,000 should bear 20,000 (oke) in 5 
places -that is Oke marun or okerun. 

Opinion is divided as to what name to give a million as there is no special name 
for 200,000. Two suggestions have been made-using the Yoruba version of a mil- 
lion - milionu or the word okerun mewa contracted to okerunwa. The first one mi- 
lionu - appears to have a wider acceptance. 

By using the device outlined above the Yoruba numeration is decimalized: 

1 0 






Milionu Okerun 








The device has thus made counting beyond the former limit of 'Oke' possible and 
pushes forward by several thousands the upper counting limit of 'oke aimoye' - too 
numerous to count. 

(c) Choosing a Name (for a number) that would make Calculation Easy 

Yoruba names are arrived at by addition to and subtraction from the stem. For 
example 56 is four subtracted from three twenties (merin-din-logota) and 54 is four 
added to three twenties minus ten (merinleladota). Apart from being very confusing 
to the pupils, it also makes oral mental drill in numbers very difficult. 

The panel decided to use the expanded form of a numeral to name it. Thus, 12 
was called ewa kan ati eeji (instead of eejila); 56 was given the name eewa marun ati 
eefa (instead of eerindinlogota or aadota ati eefa). The pane' was of the view that 
the current names really belong to the realm of Social and Cultural Studies. 

5 . Innovations in Methodological Approach 

(a) The Teachers' Guide 
The panel also produced teachers' guides. In the teacher's guide, better and more 
detailed suggestions are made. For example, where existing teachers' guide would 
simply direct the teacher to 'explain a word', the Project Mathematics Guide makes 
the 'explanation' in order to ensure that the teacher, however deep rooted his dis- 
taste for Mathematics may be, and however scanty or shallow his knowledge of mat- 
hematical concepts, can still pass the correct information to the pupils. 

The Teachers' Guide is also written in such a way that the learning of Mathema- 
tics (by the pupils) is geared, not to an automatic response but to an adventure in 
discovery. For as has been said above, the teacher is expected to lead the pupils (and 
the way he should proceed is clearly described) to find the explanation themselves 
through activities they are led to engage in - leaving only the polishing of the rough 
edges of the explanation (or definition) to the teacher to do. 

The Teachers' Guide also provides a variety of experiences in introducing a con- 
cept, and a problem is often solved in many different ways, for the purpose of 'dis- 
establishing' the 'rule kingdom' firmly established in the minds of many teachers 
who are but too eager to impress on their pupils the grave and serious consequences 
attendant on the non compliance with the rules. In other words, the methodological 
approach is structure-oriented rather than rule-oriented. 

(b) Teaching of Numbers and Numerals 

Teaching a particular number involves the concept and the name of the number as 
well as the recognition and the writing of the symbol (numeral) standing for the 


By the time a child starts schools,he already has an idea of numbers 1 to 10 and 
their names in the mother-tongue. The teacher then proceeds to teach numbers 
associating the symbols (numerals) with the names by writing the numerals down 
and saying the name of the number in English and then in the mother tongue. The 
children then chorus them after him as follows: 

1 — (one) — ookan 

2 — (two) — eeji 

3 — (three) — eeta etc. 

This method is not only confusing but also time consuming because the pupils are 
being forced to go through three processes — first, recognition of the number, 
second, association of the number and its name in English, and third, association of 
the number and its name in the mother tongue (Yoruba). Furthermore, pupils are 
also forced to do these three simultaneously. 

In order to conform with the policy laid down by the Project that instruction be 
given entirety in the mother tongue, the panel directed that recognition and naming- 
of numerals be taught in one process as follows: 

1 — ookan 

2 — eeji 

3 — eeta 

The numeral is written down and the name of the number it stands for is called 
out in the mother tongue (Yoruba) only. 

(i) Critics of this method while conceding to the claim that it is less 
confusing to the child than the one they advocated point to the dif- 
ficulty the pupil might encounter in shifting from the mother- 
tongue to English in the secondary school. It may be mentioned in 
passing that this fear of difficulty in language switch was not con- 
fined to Mathematics alone; it was also expressed in connection 
with the other subject areas. 

(ii) That the difficulty encountered in the change over is exaggerated 
can be seen from two other points. Firstly* the language of 
mathematics consists in the main, of signs and symbols which are 
used by Mathematicians no matter what language they speak. 
Secondly, it may not be difficult to acquire a wc king knowledge of 
a new language at the stage the change over is to take place. 

(iii) Two practical measures were taken by the panel to facilitate the 
pupils' achievement. One is that new names were introduced in 
Primary III for concepts previously learnt. In most cases, the new 
names are the Yoruba versions of the English word (or words). 


x) 3 

They are terms or concepts which pupils frequently come across in 
their study of Mathematics. Examples are:- 

Fraction — eebu in Primary I and II 

Furakison in III etc 
Factor — Onto nomba in Primary I & II 

Fakito in Primary III etc. 
Multiple — iye nomba in I and II 

molitipu in III etc. 
Set — akojopo in I & II 

seti in III etc. 

(iv) The other step taken was that the English panel was given a list of 
the concepts with related lexical items which were taught and 
these were incorporated in the English books for the pupils. It was 
ensured that the words were introduced in English lessons only 
after the concepts have been learnt in Mathematics. 

(v) For example, after the pupils have been taught numeration - num- 
ber names, numerals and ordering of numbers in Yoruba, they 
later read 'I can count,' in their English class. The result is that alt- 
hough they have not been taught one, two, three etc, in their 
Mathematics lesson, they know what these words mean. 

(vi) In all of the measures described above, the panel was aware that 
the most important stage of the child's education is the primary 
school level. For there the foundation is laid. If a strong founda- 
tion is laid, then the building of the superstructure is easy. If the 
child has a good grasp of mathematics at the primary school level, 
and acquires the techniques of looking at situations which have a 
mathematical setting in the right way whatever language he is to 
continue learning his mathematics in would not seriously affect 
his achievement. 

Textbooks and Workbooks 

The panel examined the desirability or otherwise of preparing a work- 
book in addition to the pupil's textbook; and decided in favour of a 
separate workbook as such an arrangement would enable at least more 
than one set of pupils to use the pupil's textbook. 

The panel also felt that the need of the pupils would be more adequa- 
tely met by providing places for pupil's work in the textbook and that 
this could be augmented with a 2B exercise book. It was hoped that the 
pupils would be asked to use lead-pencils in writing down answers to the 
sum and problems in the textbook and that by carefully erasing these 
answersjthe same textbooks could be used again. 


In actual practice these hopes were not realised for two reasons. In the first place,many 
of the pupils did not use lead pencils. Secondly those who used pencils wrote so heavily 
that the impression could still be read after the erasure, thus making the textbook less use- 
ful to the next generation. The inexpensiveness of the material used for the textbook did 
make getting fresh copies for each set of pupils a less expensive undertaking. It was howe- 
ver realised at that stage that the process would have to be re-examined if the textbook we- 
re to be published with colours and more permanent and costlier material. 

Between 1970 and 197$,the Mathematics panel met every summer for 4 to 6 weeks and 
followed the pattern laid down during the first meetig -writing, re-writing, classroom trials 
and feedbacks. At the end of the exercises, the panel produced: 

(a) pupils' texts 

(b) teachers' guides and 

(c) pupils' workbooks as listed below. 

Table 5: Some examples of Mathematical words c oined, borrowed, translated, 
invented, etc. to facilitate learning of muiimaiiki in \ nruha 

English Item 

Yoruba Item 


1. addition 

iropo (aropo) 

2. subtraction 


3. multiplication 


4. division 


5. length 


6. breadth 


7. equality 


8. inequality 


9. set 


10. sub-set 

akojopo kekere 

11. number 


12. figure (numerical) 

ami nomba 

13. figure (geometrical) 


14. unit (digit) 


15. unit (division) 


16. ten (place of position) 


17. member (of a set) 


18. empty set 


19. digit 


20. line 


21. mathematics 


22. geometry 



change in coverage 
change in coverage 
change in coverage 
change in coverage 

coinage plus translation 

borrowing + translation 




change in coverage 

coinage + translation 


change in coverage 





23. row ese change in coverage 

24. rectangle rekilangulu borrowing 

25. square sukua borrowing 





66 no 






arm gungun 


bUKli, UUIl l/wii 


aogoa regiregi 










UU .fU II III u 







CqUl.aLClcll LlldllglC 

tiraangu elegbe didogbo 


pointi ipekun 

fnrmn In 

IU1 111 U It* 


gcuiiicn y 



pade, kora (ko are) 


ikora (ko are) 

ikora (ipade) aisoselisi 





11I1C □vglllClll 

ege ila 

matViam o tine 













iwon ayika 



parallel movement 

sisun ti paraleli 




figo elegbe pupo(poligonu) 


figo elegbe merin 






inu operese 


angu to sukua, angu 

togun, raiti angu 


r p 







solid (space figure) 

space figure (solid) 

turning movement 






sukua (adigun) 
oloperese pupo 
figo ofurufu 
sisun oni yiyi 

sonso igun (sonso angu) 

Matimatiki/Mathematics Books Yoruba and English Editions 
Primary One 

1 . Matimatiki Iwe kinifun Akeko Ipin 1 — 6 

2. Matimatiki 9—16 

3- " "" " Oluko" l_ii 

4 - " " Ipinl?.-17funoluko 

Primary Two 

1 . Matimatiki Apa Kini Ipin l~5f un ^ ^ 0 

2- " " Keji " 6-13 " " 

3 ■ " " Keji Iwe Oluko Ipin 1 — 5 

4. - » >. ' „ » 6—15 

Primary Three 

1 . Matimatiki Ipin I - 6 fun Oluko (2) Matimatiki Iwe Akeko I 

2. Matimatiki Iwe Oluko Ipin 7 —12 (4) " " 63-104 

3. Matimatiki Iwe Akeko Pages 105- 168 

4. Matimatiki Iwe Akeko Motiriki Ipin 1 - 7. 
Primary Four 

1. Mathematics Unit 1 — 6 Teachers 

2. Mathematics Pages 1 — 80 

3. Mathematics Unit 1 — 60 

4. Mathematics Four: Pages I — 54 

5. Matimatiki Ipin Kini de ekefa iwe Oluko 

6. Matimatiki Ipin Kini de Ipari Iwe A keko 

7. Matimatiki Metiriki oji ikini de ipari 


Primary Five 

1 . Matimatiki iwe karun Akeko Ipin 1 — 3 

2. Mathematics Unit 1 — 3 pupils 

3. Mathematics: Teachers Guide 

4. Matimatiki Lati 82 — 149 

Primary Six 

1 . Mathematics Six Units 1 — end 

2. Mathematics Six: Teachers Guiled 

3 . Mathematics Six: Iwe Akeko 

4. Mathematics: Iwe Oluko. 

5. Suggested Syllabus for Mathematics/Matimatiki. 

C. SA YENSI (Science): Writing Panel 

Composition of the Writing Panel 

The science panel comprised university and secondary school science 
teachers, professors of science education and science inspectors at 
Western State Ministry of Education. Prior to the launching of the Pro- 
ject, only two members of the panel had had previous experience in the 
teaching of science at the primary school level. The panel was later join- 
ed by the primary school teachers from the Project schools. Involving 
the primary school teachers at the initial stages of an experiment or pro- 
ject that affects them was not only rewarding but turned out to be one 
of the innovative ideas which the Project pioneered and became its regu- 
lar procedure for all the text materials produced between 1970 and 1975. 

Review of Syllabus 

Prior to the commencement of the Six Year Primary Project in 1970, 
science was taught in primary schools in Nigeria as nature study, hygie- 
ne and sanitation. 14 The teaching of nature study consisted of growing 
beans and corn seeds in small tins and watching them grow. The rest of 
the teaching mostly in English was textbook — centred with copied dia- 
grams of plants, mosquitoes, house flies and the like. Memorization and 
regurgitation at examination time were the only means of testing a 


child's knowledge in science. It was believed that 'serious science' could 
not be meaningfully taught before the third or fourth year of secondary 
school and in English! It was the belief that one could not teach science 
effectively at the primary or lower secondary school level. 

3. Writing Procedure 

Applying the philosophy of the Six Year Primary Project, the Curriculum 
Writing workshop believed that the child would acquire science concepts 
better in his mother tongue than in English at the early stages of his edu- 

The panel was charged with the responsibility of producing the follo- 
wing materials: 

1 . Pupils' Books II to VI (Yoruba and English) 

2. Pupils' Work-books I to VI (Yoruba and English) 

3 . Teachers' Guide: Books I to VI (Yoruba and English) 

Of all the writing panels set up by the Project, the science panel had a 
more formidable task. For instance, none of the science writers ever 
learnt or taught science in Yoruba formally before the commencement of 
the Project; consequently the group had to wrestle with science concepts 
in Yoruba. 

The Yoruba language is very rich in prose, poetry, tongue twisters, ab- 
stract expressions and proverbs but hardly had any one tackled or studied 
in depth, science concepts expressed in Yoruba. Like the Mathematics 
writing panel, the science panel had to take a number of decisions prior to 
the commencement of the writing and testing exercises. One guiding prin- 
ciple was that whenever there was a word or phrase in Yoruba that ade- 
quately or closely connoted the scientific word or concept in English, such 
Yoruba word or phrase would be adopted. 

The Project set up a 'lexical committee' , particularly for science to 
adjudicate on final selection of words and concepts that would adequa- 
tely express in Yoruba, certain scientific expressions or concepts. This 
panel never took off and the Project had to use the collective wisdom of 
the panel writers themselves, Yoruba specialists and old men and wo- 
men in Yoruba villages and hamlets to meet this challenge. Experience 
had shown that there exist some Yoruba words, concepts and vocabula- 
ry still in use by non-literate Yoruba in the rural areas but long forgotten 
by or unknown to many educated or city— oriented Yoruba. 

A number of methods were employed by the science panel in arriving 
at a decision on what Yoruba word or concept to use in a given situa- 



(a) Coinage, 

(b) Borrowing, and 

(d) Extension of referential coverage. 

4. Evolution of Text Materials and Teacher Involvement 

Annually, as new materials were produced, classroom teachers who we- 
re to teach the new materials to the pupils were given 

(a) induction courses before the commencement of school and 

(b) training on the job. 

At the beginning of each writing workshop, the classroom teachers al- 
ways presented a critical review of the text from their own classroom ex- 
perience during the year both positive and negative. Some were related 
to level of understanding and assimilation by the children; use of Yoru- 
ba words and their preciseness or impreciseness; difficulties encountered 
by the teacher or the pupils during classroom activities etc. 

At the beginning of each session, the first task of the writing panel 
which included the same teachers was to resolve all the points raised by 
the teachers and re-write the portions affected before moving forward. 
In other words, the children 'taught us how to teach them effectively'! 
This process of curriculum evolution characterized the entire six year 
writing workshops in science. By this approach, the classroom teachers 
taught with confidence and thus made the teacher training aspect of the 
Project easier to handle. 

5. Teaching/Learning Aids 

One important requirement in science education is to develop or design 
demonstration equipment along with science unit to be taught. The 
primary school teachers at the writing workshops were of great assistan- 
ce to the scientists on the panel. Emphasis was placed on 'local' and in- 
expensive materials. Most of the apparatus used was either construc- 
ted at the workshop, or improvised by the classroom teachers. For in- 
stance, articles like troughs, wooden boxes, balances, and microscopes 
were constructed; others like jam jars, yam tubers, or °ven live animals 
like rats, birds, cockroaches were procured by the scientists, the primary 
school teachers and the pupils for practical demonstrations. 

6. Yoruba as a medium of Science teaching and learning 

It was also the policy of this programme to use local examples where 
possible, e.g. clover leaves look like cassava leaves. Clover is not known 



to Nigerian children but cassava is. It is, therefore, logical to use exam- 
ples from the pool of samples that surround the learner. 

It is accepted that it is not in all cases that local examples can be sub- 
stituted; e.g. it will be difficult to have a substitute for a magnet in Yo- 
ruba. In such cases, the policy is to borrow the foreign word using the 
Yoruba orthography. Thus, magnet becomes magineti, battery — bati- 
ri, electric, iletiriki. Of course, this does not reduce the quality of the 
material being taught. If science can be taught in Italian, Japanese, Chi- 
nese or German languages why not in Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Ijaw, Nupe 
or any other African language? 

Yoruba, like any other living language, is subject to modification and 
adjustment and rich enough to cope with new challenges in science and 
technology. It has many words in its vocabulary that are adequate in 
conveying the same scientific meaning or concept as the following exam- 
ples show: 








— ododo 

— koro, horo 

— ewe 

— gbongbo 












edoforo, fukufuku 











— oorun 

— osupa 

— imole 

— ategun 

— afefe 

— Jigi 

7 . Science/Say ensi Text Books Produced 



I. Sayensi One (Picture Book) 




1 . Ounje Wa: fun A keko 

2. Ounje Wa:fun Oluko 

3. Sayensi two 


1 . Science Teachers' Guide 

2 . Sayensi I we A keko Apa keji 

3. AroAtiEse 


1. OmiAtillore 

2. Water 

3. Science four Teachers' Guide 

4. Sayensi fun A keko Apa Keji 

5. Sayensi I we Oluko 

6. Home Economics 

7 . Kose ma nifun Eda A laye — Oluko 

8. Kose ma nifun Eda Alaye — Akeko 

9. Essentials for life, Teachers' Guide 


1 . Farming method: Teachers' Guide 

2. Farming method: Pupils' Guide 

3. Solution And Mixture 

4. Yoruba: — Sayensi iwe Oluko 

5 . Oko riro lona Isedale A pa Karu — Oluko 

6. Oko riro lona Isedale Apa Karun — Akeko 

7 . AroAti eese — oluko 

8 . Aroati eese — A keko 


1 . Science Six: pupils 

2. Science Six: Teachers' Guide 

3. Sayensi: Iwe Oluko 

4. Sayensi: Iwe Akeko 

5. Sounds around us: Teachers and Pupils 

6. Iro ni ayika wa: Teacher and Pupils 

7. Suggested syllabus 


D. Social and Cultural Studies: Writing Panel 
Operational Strategies 

In this subject-area, the Panel decided to operate within the framework of the stra- 
tegies evolved by the Project, that is: 

(a) to develope materials with appropriate methodology for teaching and learning 
the prepared curriculum; 

(b) to develop materials in both Yoruba and English; 

(c) to organize writing workshops for the development and evaluation of the cur- 
riculum materials; and 

(d) to test the developed curriculum materials in the classroom and arrange for a 
feed-back from the classroom teachers, to effect improvement during subse- 
quent workshops. 

Since the subject area of Social and Cultural Studies was considered new in the 
primary school curriculum, the development and implementation of its syllabus had 
many facets which included: 

(a) the formulation of a six-year syllabus; 

(b) the preparation of a scheme of work; 

(c) a re-blocking of the time-table; 

(d) the provision of Teacher's Guide, and 

(e) the production of pupils' texts at the appropriate levels. 

Other curriculum materials like work books, supplementary readers and visual- 
aids were also designed to stimulate initiative, seif-confidence, and resourcefulness 
in the pupils. 

Since Social and Cultural Studies was relatively new as a subject area, materials 
had to be developed from scratch. This posed a challenge to the panel to. 

(a) design a suitably graded Social Studies programme 

(b) evolve a basis for selection of contents for the different levels of classes; and 

(c) produce appropriate texts for both pupils and teachers, thereby creating such 
materials as would assist in effectively realizing the stated aims of the new area 
of learning. 

The task of implementation was carried out in two stages, each of which involved 
long processes. The first stage was that of producing all the needed materials for the 
execution of the programme, and the second was that of introducing the materials 
to the school which, in itself, called for the training of the classroom teachers. 

It is probably necessary to reiterate here that the nature of the Six- Year-Primary 
Project was essentially one of experimentation in language. The Yoruba language 
was to be used for education with a view to making primary school education more 
effective than hitherto. The introduction of Social and Cultural Studies as a new 
curriculum area was, therefore, to: 



(a) introduce to the children the customs, practices, norms and values of 
the society in which they lived; 

(b) inculcate in them an awareness of these values, and a sense of patrio- 
tism, honour and respect that the society holds in high regard; 

(c) expose the children, through instruction, to other values and concepts 
foreign but nonetheless essential to living in a wider community in an 
acceptable manner; 

(d) enrich the language (Yoruba, in this case) thereby through the introduc- 
tion of new concepts that demanded special registers, lexis and, possi- 
bly, new language structures; and finally, 

(e) improve the pupils' skills in the use of the mother tongue in communica- 
tion correctly, coherently, and intelligibly. 

The pre-writing Exploratory task 

The panel of Social and Cultural Studies writers, as mentioned earlier, was made up 
of University teachers, College of education teachers, interested professional offi- 
cers of the Ministry of Education and experienced primary school teachers. A uni- 
que aspect of the composition of the panel was the inclusion of interested parents as 
local resource-persons who were interested in, and were associated with, the promo- 
tion of cultural heritage in the community. 

Writing Procedure 

As with all the panels in the various curriculum areas, there was initial briefing on 
the philosophy of the Project. This was generally followed by the outlining of the 
aims and objectives of the particular subject-area which finally culminated in the de- 
lineation of the job of the panel. The Social and Cultural Studies panel usually re- 
sorted to brain-storming as the basis for the selection of curriculum content. 

Workshop Technique 

It is pertinent to reiterate that workshops were a feature of the entire Project throug- 
hout the period of the Experiment. They were mounted for: 

(a) the writing of materials in the subject areas; 

(b) the training of teachers in the use of prepared materials for the class- 

(c) the introduction of new materials to Project teachers; 

(d) the stage-by-stage evaluation of the text-materials produced, and 

(e) the assessment of pupil achievements. 

Social and Cultural Studies Texts 

Adverting to the stated aims and objectives of Social and Cultural Studies, no texts 
would be needed by the beginners. Texts produced for that level were mainly guides 



for the teachers — they were expected to direct the pupils' activities in their attempts 
to understand their immediate social and cultural environment and learn the norms 
and ethical values of the community. 

Social and Cultural Studies is aptly translated as liana Ibagbepo in the mother- 
tongue and so the texts were produced in order of succession to educate the children 
on Ibagbepo 

(a) Ni Ilee wa — Our Home 

(b) Ni Adugboo wa — Our Neighbourhood 

(c) Ni lie Ekoo wa — Our School 

(d) Eree Wa — Games and Pastimes and so on. 

These texts only provided information to the teacher on procedures, description and 
rules of the games. 

At this level, the resources of the local people were tapped to the fullest in the pro- 
vision of item-contents like stories, anecdotes, information on religious observances 
and traditional practices that exemplify virtues, attitudes and ethos which define the 
Yoruba culture. In addition, in the development of a concept, whenever the text wri- 
ters ran into difficulties on the issue of appropriate vocabulary like register or lexis, 
the local-resource people were available to give required assistance. 

By this involvement of the children's parents (the local resource-persons) in the 
creation of materials, the contents of education Social and Cultural Studies became 
more meaningful and real to them. The materials so evolved provided the pupils 
with a means of contact with a world beyond the walls of the classroom. 

Texts for teachers were generally comprehensive and detailed. For one reason, tea- 
chers were expected to give guidance, directives and explanations to pupils in respect 
of certain aspects of the culture of the society, and so needed to be supplied with all 
available information, leaving them to supplement this from inquiries as occasions 
demanded. For another reason, because of the novelty of the curriculum area, the 
teacher himself needed a good deal of help and orientation which would faciliate his 
classroom operations. 

The texts prepared for pupils were characterized by very simple language struc- 
tures though not at the expense of appropriate lexis and registers specific to the 
topics under treatment. The texts were also characterized by illustrative pictures 
which provided topics for exercises in the development of the pupils' communicative 
skill, and practice in coherent and intelligible communication. For instance, espe- 
cially at an advanced stage, where texts were to include ideas or concepts foreign to 
the society, registers were evolved by borrowing, by translation or by coinage, all of 
which contributed to the enrichment of the mother-tongue (Yoruba). As the whole 
Project was predicated on the role of language in education, it followed that all the 
texts relating to Social and Cultural Studies for both teachers and pupils, and for all 
levels of the primary school for the six years were produced in the mother-tongue. 



In the existing school system, as already described, primary education for the first 
three years was conducted in the mother-tongue; thereafter, and for the rest of the 
span of primary education, instruction was conducted in the second language — 
English, or as is known to happen, in a mixture of the mother-tongue and English. 
In conformity with the existing language policy, the Social and Cultural Studies 
texts, as from the fourth year of primary education, were produced in both Yoruba 
and English language. 

Social and Cultural Studies in the Classroom 
The second stage of the implementation of the curriculum development was the in- 
troduction of the course into the school. It should be noted, however, that after the 
first three years when it was assumed that pupils would have been able to read to a 
reasonable degree and with understanding, some texts were produced for the pupils 
in addition to the teachers' guides. 

The manuscripts, especially for the pupils, were usually submitted to the language 
experts among the Project organizers for proper editing, during which the suitability 
of the subject content was determined, the language of the writers was moderated to 
the level of understanding of the learner, and correct orthography was ascertained. 
We would like to re-affirm that texts for all the subject areas including Social and 
Cultural Studies were mimeographed for the entire period of the Project. 

In addition to the opportunity that the teachers had to work with the panel of wri- 
ters during the workshop period, at the stage of introducing the subject into the 
school, on-the-spot orientation courses were run for the teachers to familiarize them 
with the contents of the text, the technique in the use of it, and to acquire appropria- 
te methodology for the teaching of the course. 

A notably happy aspect of the exercise at this stage of trial-testing of the text ma- 
terial was that the materials placed in the hands of these teachers were a product of 
their joint efforts with the curriculum developers, and so they displayed an uncom- 
mon interest and delight in the teaching of the contents that were real and mean- 
ingful to them. It was the outcome of the classroom experience that the teachers fed 
back to the curriculum writers at every succeeding workshop session, as a guide in 
the preparation of subsequent instructional materials or course contents. The mate- 
rials thus developed allowed for a free classroom atmosphere which was conducive 
to teaching activities of a solid, meaningful type; the kind of atmosphere that would 
produce 'better-adjusted', more relaxed, more enterprising and more resourceful 
pupils as postulated by the organizers of the Project. 


The description of the development of the Social and Cultural Studies curriculum 
would be incomplete without reference to the modification in the classroom organi- 
zation and time-tabling. The nature of the contents of the subject areas which runs 
through the discipline of everyone of them demanded that the rigid classroom time- 


table which put every learning activity into a water-tight compartment had to be re- 
jected in favour of a flexible one like the block-time system which allowed for a pro- 
cess of continuous and organic learning without compartmentalization. 

Classroom operation under this experiment made it possible for parents as local 
resource persons, on invitation, to interact with the school during the teaching of 
some special topics, like 'Festivals'. This interaction introduces another element 
into the teacher-training programme, especially in the implementation of the Social 
and Cultural Studies role. And thus, to the parents, the activities in the classroom 
became a reality, and primary school education ceased to be a matter of conjecture 
or fantasy, and for the first time, the home came to take active interest in the work 
of the school. One side-effect of this collaboration by the curriculum specialists with 
the local resource-people was the mutual interest developed between the school and 
the home, thus developing an established rapport euphemistically referred to as the 
meeting of 'gown and town' . 

Evaluation of the Social and Cultural Studies Programme 

It is essential to highlight the role of the primary school teachers in fostering the 
establishment of social and cultural studies in school and according it a pride of pla- 
ce in the general curriculum of the primary school. 

The entire Project included in its personnel, right from the start, primary school 
teachers of long standing when the curriculum was to be developed. It was therefore 
a natural sequence that these teachers should be the ones to test the Project pupils in 
the classroom. Since these teachers were involved in the workshop sessions for wri- 
ting, their experience in the classroom served as an evaluation mechanism for the 
improvement of the Social and Cultural Studies syllabus, scheme of work and texts 
produced, where necessary. 

As a completely new subject-area, the classroom teachers to handle it were given 
special training in instructional technique, and this had in it an in-built evaluative 
strategy. It was, in fact, part of the conception of the curriculum developers that, at 
every stage, it should be possible to assess the effectiveness of the instruction as well 
as the learning successes of the pupils through demonstrable skills, appropriate 
knowledge, attitudes and normative behaviours. 

Texts Produced for Social and Cultural Studies were: 


1 . Eto at liana Ibagbepo 1—6 

2. Scheme of work 1—3 

3. Adugbo Wa 

4. Eranko Agbegbe Wa 

5. Igbo Agbegbe Wa 

6. Owo Sise ni Agbegbe Wa 


7. Ounje Wa 

8. Odun Ibile & A laye Fun Oluko 

9. AwonAkoni He wa 

10. Makers of our History 

1 1 . Iselu 

12. A won Osise Ijoba, Iwe Oluko 

13. A won Osise Ijoba ni Ipinle Wa, Iwe Akeko 

14. A won Egbe lyondaAra Eni 

15. How Nigeria came into Being 

1 6 . Eto Ijoba Naijiria 

1 7. How Nigeria is Governed 

18. Eko Nipa Nigeria 

19. Know Your Country 

20. Administrators of Nigeria 

21 . Various ways by which Government derives Revenue 

22. Nigeria and its West African Neighbours 

23 . Naijiria ati A won Orile-ede I wo Oorun Afirika 

24. He mi ati He iwe Mi 

25. A jumokegbepo ni lie iwe 

26. Gbigbe ni He Wa 

27. Ayika wa 

28. A won Ibi pataki ni He Wa 

29. A won Eranko ni agbegbe Wa 

30. Ijuwe 

31. Irin Ajo oju inuyi aala Naijiria ka 

32. Bi Naijiria ii se bere 

33. A won Alakoso Idasile ati Idagbasoke Ijoba Naijiria 

34. Bi a ti se eto Ijoba Naijiria 

35. Esin Ibile 

36. Indigenous Religions 

37. Oju osu ati odun Yoruba 

38. The Commonwealth 

E. English Language: Writing Panel 
Composition of the English Writing Panel 

The panel comprised English Language specialists from three Universities and three 
teacher training colleges. Some classroom teachers from the Project school were la- 
ter included in the team for feedback purposes. After some training however, they 
were also able to contribute supplementary readers. 



Review of the Existing English Language Syllabus and Texts 

The Panel examined the existing English Language syllabus critically and found it 
inadequate. The English course books which were in use were also examined and 
equally found inadequate. In 1970 when the Project began, many of the English 
course books were about to be replaced with new editions. However, since these revised 
editions were still in the preparatory stage, the panel could review only what was 
available in the market. Most of these English courses were found to be rigidly 
structured - bound and drill-oriented, without much relevance to the child's interest 
or reference to his everyday life. They tended to promote memorization of sentence 
patterns rather than a basic understanding of how language works. They lacked 
reading readiness exercises and there was insufficient provision of meaningful and 
interesting oral work. With these findings as the background, the panel then pro- 
ceeded to develop a new English Language syllabus with accompanying instructio- 
nal materials to meet the objectives of the Project. 

Writing Procedure 

The English Language syllabus was developed during the first writing workshop, 
and was followed by instructional materials and schemes of work for primary I. Du- 
ring the subsequent annual workshops, new texts were written for the next class, 
while the previous year's texts were reviewed and modified, in consonance with the 
feedback from the field supervisors and classroom teachers who taught the subject. 

The writing panel began with a general writing procedure which identified all the 
needs in terms of instructional materials. When these needs had been identified and 
all the materials described, the panel allotted writing tasks to its members and the 
specific talent and interest of each member were identified in making the allottment. 
General principles were laid down for writing, editing and reviewing processes, par- 
ticularly after each feedback session. 

Decisions were taken within the panel on the choice of language items, degree of 
coverage and mode of staging and grading for each of the texts. Each material pro- 
duced was submitted to the panel for discussion and critique. Time was also set asi- 
de during the workshop for the writers to work with the classroom teachers. 

In writing the texts for English, the needs of the two Project groups, the experi- 
mental and control were identified and catered for. Some needs were common to 
both while others were specific to each. In the first three years of schooling, both the 
control and the experimental groups learned through the Yoruba medium, and Eng- 
lish was taught to both groups as a subject. At this level, all instructional materials 
except English were the same for both the experimental and control groups. 

This distinction was made as a result of the character of the experiment. It was 
postulated that if English Language were taught more systematically by specially 
trained teachers with carefully designed instructional materials, the pupils taught 
through the Yoruba medium for six years would not demonstrate a significantly 


lower level of English Language achievement than the pupils taught through the 
Yoruba medium for three years and the English medium for three years; rather, it 
was hoped that they would do better. Because of this assertion therefore, it was con- 
sidered necessary from the beginning to provide the experimental group with addi- 
tional materials and extended teaching time through specialist teachers of English. 
Below is a table indicating the types of instructional materials made available to the 

'A' indicates average English Language materials provided according to the new 
Project English Language syllabus. 'X' indicates specially designed English Langua- 
ge materials for use in the Yoruba medium classes. 

Table 6 Distribution of English Language Instructional Materials 

Experimental Group 

Control Group 


Reading Readiness 


Reading Readiness 

Exercises X 

Exercises A 


Pupil's Course Reader A + X 


Pupil's Course Reader A 


Teachers' Guide X 


Teacher's Guide A 


Supplementary Readers A + X 


Supplementary Readers A 


Work books X 


Work books A 


Comprehension Texts X 




Medium Servicing Texts X 




Teaching Charts, Cards, 


Teaching Charts, 

pictures etc. A + X 

pictures etc. A 

Instructional Materials Produced 

It is necessary to describe briefly the instructional materials tabled above since they 
were crucial in the testing of the hypotheses. 

1 . Reading Readiness Book 

Before describing the English readiness materials, it is pertinent at this point 
to mention that both the experimental and control groups went through rea- 
ding readiness exercises in 'Yoruba as a Subject' which was the same for both 
groups. For the English lessons however, two separate readiness programmes 
were used for both. For the control group, the English course book contai- 
ned some preparatory work for early reading. This was why the course was 
selected when existing course books were assessed for use by the Project. The 


control group was provided with the full complement of the Course including 
the first picture book which contained some of the exercises listed in the expe- 
rimental readiness book. 

The experimental group was provided with additional readiness exer- 
cises because part of the policy was that there would be extended oral 
language practice before reading could begin for this Yoruba medium 
group. This was to ensure intensive training in reading Yoruba and to 
give pupils a chance to develop some measure of competence in oral 
English communication. The reading readiness for the experimental 
group therefore contained the following: 

(a) pictures of events arranged in logical sequence for pupils to Tell 
the Stroy; 

(b) skillfully presented objects, shapes, symbols, and letters for visual 
perception and discrimination; 

(c) exercises with reference to sound producing objects, letters and 
words for auditory perception and discrimination; 

(d) diagrams to trace, for training in left to right progression; 

(e) games on sensory awareness and description; 

(f) exercises to stimulate experience stories; 

(g) concept formation games. 

I I . Pupil 's Course Reader 

The course reader was the same for both in the first four years. The fifth 
and sixth year readers were modified for the experimental group to ac- 
commodate some of the additional exercises recommended in the tea- 
chers' guide for the experimental group. The readers contained: 

(a) reading passages with comprehension exercises; 

(b) language exercises for structure practice; 

(c) activities for reinforcement of concepts acquired. 

III. Teachers' Guides 

All course readers are usually published with accompanying teacher's 
guides. The control group was provided with the adapted English course 
books without any modification. The teachers' guides that came with 
them were also used by this group without changes. The guides contai- 
ned step by step introduction of language items and how to teach them. 
They also provided methods for teaching writing, reading and compre- 
hension. The language items included the following: 

(a) vocabulary; 

(b) basic structures and sentence patterns; 

(c) drills and pattern practice; 


(d) instructions for teaching reading; 

(e) procedures for comprehension exercises; 

(f) other language exercises, such as composition, story writing, letter 
writing, application for jobs and so on. 

For the experimental group, the teacher's guides were specially desig- 
ned to incorporate additional sentence patterns and structures of the 
English Language which the Yoruba medium group might not have lear- 
ned or acquired otherwise since they were not going to learn through the 
English medium. The guides therefore contained the following: 

(a) carefully selected vocabulary to cover the range of subjects taught 
in Yoruba; 

(b) carefully selected structures and registers to cover other subject 
areas and to establish easy communication in English; 

(c) dialogues and games for promoting correct language habits and 

(d) writing exercises — composition, story writing, letter writing, ap- 
plication for jobs etc.; 

(e) specially designed processes for teaching reading with reference to 
the readiness exercises introduced earlier; 

(0 procedure for teaching extensive reading and for using each of the 
additional texts provided; 

(g) procedure for teaching oral and reading comprehension to ensure 
' deep understanding and to promote interest in reading; 

(h) preparatory exercises for common entrance examination tests for 
secondary schools; 

(i) self testing language exercises to reinforce mastery of the various 
language skills. 

Supplementary Readers 

Supplementary readers were provided for both groups of pupils. The 
control group received an adequate quantity of supplementary readers 
which were selected for the different levels. 

The experimental group received those which were specially written 
for them, incorporating the additional concepts and structures descri- 
bed earlier. Both groups were monitored in their extensive reading as- 
signments. However, time proved that the experimental group, by virtue 
of their initial reading training, tended to read more books and to read fa- 
ster; consequently, they covered a wider variety of supplementary rea- 


• Aw 

V. Work Books 

Work books were provided with the course books used by the control 
group. These contained language exercises which were directly related to 
the content of the course books. The experimental group on the 
other hand received work books which incorporated both the structures 
and lexis of the common course book and the additional ones in the spe- 
cial teacher's guide. 

The work books also provided extensive language practice for maste- 
ry. The items and methods of presentation were such that pupils could 
get on at their own pace and on their own. No new work was ever intro- 
duced in the work books. They were designed specifically for reinforce- 
ment of what had been taught. 

VI. Comprehension Texts 

These were designed for the experimental group only. Here again, it was 
felt that extensive reading alone was not sufficient. 7 upils need to deve- 
lop the skills of intensive reading. They must read with deep and not 
shallow understanding as is commonly the case at this level. The content 
of the texts therefore ranged between short and long passages which re- 
flected varied interests within the pupils' level of language competence. 
The comprehension exercises that followed were designed as training 
processes. They elicited not only factual responses but also those which 
called for inferences, judgement and conclusions. Some of the exercises 
also contained activities which the pupils had to perform to demonstrate 
their understanding of the passage. 

Careful attention was paid to the choice of lexis and structure in the 
text to ensure that those used were the ones that had been taught and re- 
used by the pupils repeatedly. 

VII. Medium-Servicing Texts 

These were also designed for the experimental group only. As explained 
before, this group needed to learn concepts and registers from the other 
subject areas — mathematics, science and social studies, which they 
learnt through the Yoruba medium. The texts were designed in the 
form of story books and activity books. Pupils were allowed to take 
them home to read and work on them since there wasn't sufficient time 
to cover them all at school. 

VIII. Charts, Cards, Pictures etc. 

Teachers of both groups were taught to prepare wall charts, reading 
cards, pictures and other relevant items which could promote language 
learning. Because the experimental group of children were being taught 
by specialist teachers of English, their classrooms tended to display a 


greater wealth of visual aids for both individual and group work. In a 
few isolated cases, teachers of control classes endeavoured to match 
what was done in the experimental classes. 

Use of Instructional Materials 

Texts were developed extensively for the teaching and learning of English on the 
Project. Both groups were also encouraged to have a class library each, so that 
books would be readily accessible to the pupils. Furthermore, pupils would be en- 
couraged to read more extensively. This example was emulated by the entire school 
because every single class including the non-project classes, subsequently set up li- 
brary shelves in one corner of the classroom. The headmaster also installed a huge 
cupboard library in his office and pupils in the different classes were free to borrow 
books from the library. 

A general policy was laid down in respect of Project book usage. Pupils were allo- 
wed to take some of them home for use but if they lost or ill-used them, they paid a 
fine to cover the cost of replacement. At the end of each year, pupils took away only 
the work books which could not be re-used. All the reading texts were left in school 
for use by the next set of pupils. Those which were too tattered for use were replaced 
by the Project. 

Teachers were provided with their own texts and reference books. These too could 
be taken home for note preparation but if lost must be replaced. In the process of 
teaching, teachers were expected to record all the problems encountered with detai- 
led descriptions for the text writers at the feedback sessions. They were also to re- 
cord pupils' responses to innovative methods whenever they were introduced. 

At the initial stage of the experiment, some problems ensued over the use of texts 
for the control and experimental classes. Because of the proximity, the teacher in the 
first control class persistently and surreptiously borrowed the reading text and tea- 
cher's guide specially designed for the experimental classes and would use them in 
the control class. He felt his ability to teach effectively was being put to test and he 
did not see any reason why the materials should be different in respect of the two 
groups. Great pains were thereafter taken to explain to all the teachers, the Project 
policy and objectives as well as the innate character of a research Project, such as 
that was. 


Table 7: Breakdown of English Language Instructional Texts 



Course Book 


Trs. Guide Book 1 

Trs. Guide Book 2 

Trs. Guide Book 3 
Trs. Guide Book 4 

Trs. Guide Book 5 

Trs. Guide Book 6 

Texts and Exercises 
Common Entrance 
Texts for Practice. 

Day by Day 
English Course 
revised for 
the Project 
Book 1 

Book 2 
Book 3 

Book 4 

Book 5 

Book 6 

Workbook la 
Workbook lb 
Workbook 2a 
Workbook 2b 
Workbook 3 

Workbook 4 
Workbook 5 

I can count 

I can read 
and write. 

1. Jide & Jimi. 

2. The Fish and 
the Frog. 

3. The Village School 

4. Olu and His 

5. The Foolish 
Tortoise and the 
Gourd of Wisdom. 

6. Wale Visits the 
University of Ife. 

7. The Three Lazy 

Supplementary Readers 

8. Tunji Goes 
on Holidays. 

9. Kemi and the 
Sea Creatures. 

10. Wale's Entertainment. 
1 1 The Stupid Short Man. 

12. The Stupid Short 
Man Again. 

13. Olu Goes North. 

14. The Offenders. 

15. Learn About Nature. 

16. Christmas At Home. 

17. The Village 

Beyond the 

18. Olu and the 
Snake dance 

19. Olu plans 
another journey 

20. Bisi goes to the 
Boarding School 

21. Little Ade in 
the Farm 

22. Folu and her dog 

23. ThedayKunle 
woke up late. 



Production of Materials 
for the Project 

The Genesis 

In every situation of formal education, there is always the need for some form of in- 
structional materials. When the situation turns out to be that of traditional school 
setting, the essential material for teaching and learning is BOOKS. Of course, when 
the focus is on facilitating teaching and learning, other forms of materials than 
books come into consideration. For example, at the elementary level, the chalkbo- 
ard is an indispensable material to reinforce the teacher's verbal explanation 
through illustration, diagram, sketches etc. on the board for visual aid and demon- 

In the circumstance of the Six Year Primary Project, the production of books — 
reading materials, becomes a sine qua non for several reasons. For example: 

(a) the subject-areas as defined by the Project were of different orientation from 
what existed in the school system. Hence, there were no books to foster the ope- 
ration of the Project programme at the initial stages; 

(b) where books existed, they did not conform with the philosophy and objectives 
of the Project; 

(c) the Project was concerned with the policy of language in education; 

(d) almost all the existing books were written in a second language (English), which 
made them unsuitable for the Project both in content and in language. 

The practice whereby teachers taught unofficially in the mother-tongue from the 
provided texts written in English did not help either the teacher or the pupils. The 
teacher on his part had to contend with the task of first understanding the text- 
content and then translating into the mother-tongue for communication with the le- 
arner. It was not uncommon that the teacher's knowledge of the second language 
was defective with the resultant effect that distorted ideas were communicated to the 
pupils through misinterpretation. On the part of the pupil, learning was hardly en- 
sured resulting from faulty presentation of facts not clearly understood by the tea- 


* o 

To obviate this bottleneck in the communication of ideas and cultivation of va- 
lues in the process of teaching and learning, it was the decision and policy of the 
Project Organizers to produce books for both the teacher and the pupil in Yoruba to 
meet the demand of the Project and realize its objectives. 

From what was known of the existing school curriculum and its contents, it was 
obvious that for a primary education that might be terminal for many primary 
school pupils, the contents of the curriculum must be rich, diverse and purposeful so 
that it could have a surrender-value for all the learners whether they stop after the 
primary school stage or continue to further their education. There were no available 
texts that could satisfy these conditions and so production of books became impera- 

Strategy for Material Production 

The experiment in language education that the Project v/as out to try, was a venture 
of hope, yet full of uncertainties. It was envisaged there would be difficulties to get 
teaching materials and pupils' texts produced by the traditional publishing houses. 
For one reason, the language of the texts to be produced was Yoruba which needed 
special typewriters with appropriate combination of letters, accent symbols, diacriti- 
cal marks etc. For another, the Project wanted to produce these materials cheaply. 

With the realization of these facts, the organizers resolved to set up a Book Pro- 
duction Unit within the Institute of Education of the University of Ife (now Obafe- 
mi Awolowo University). This unit had the sole responsibility of producing texts for 
use in the Project schools. 

Stages of Production 

The Production unit set up by the Project had to relate to the writers in its opera- 
tion. The unit could only produce what was submitted to it by way of manuscripts, 
and so its activities were bound integrally with the work of all the writers. The activi- 
ties of the unit comprised: collection of manuscripts, assembling them, editing or re- 
writing of scripts and producing them as Books for Project use. Each of these activi- 
ties had its many parts which called for a division of labour. 

Stage One — Panel of writers 

The production of books started with the panel of writers in the different subject- 
areas and thus formed the core of the production unit. For the production of any 
book in any area, the collection of raw material was a product of the discussion by 
the group of writers in the particular area. The raw data deriving from the brain- 
storming sessions of the men and women assembled for this purpose were refined 
and became the guideline for the individual writer who was assigned to write the full 
text. In all the subject-areas, the group met to plan and write out the texts, and the 
individual writer was commissioned to write for any given area in which he had spe- 
cial interest. The text or manuscript writer was expected to produce only the needed 



It is necessary to comment on the collection of materials. The discussion among 
the writers that eventually led to the production of materials, as a rule, took place in 
a workshop setting. This setting made possible cross fertilization of ideas through 
consultation with, and reference to, other experts in related field of studies who 
were also in similar sessions. Once the decision was taken on the needed materials, 
any commissioned writer could start to write during the period of the workshop; but 
most writers, after striking at the broad outline of their subject matter, preferred to 
go to write the detailed content of the subject in the privacy of their study. 

Stage Two — The write-up 
Not every writer for the Project was a specialist in Yoruba, even though everyone of 
them had to produce his/her material in the mother tongue (Yoruba), except writers 
of English texts. All the same, each text, in whatever area of discipline, was expected 
to conform to fhe required standard for the promotion of teaching and learning. 

Following the production of the scripts by the writers, the scripts were next sub- 
mitted to the specialists in language and methodology. They had to ensure that the 
vocabulary of the text in terms of register and lexis was graded to suit the reading le- 
vel of the prospective users. They also had to ensure that the manuscript covered the 
required grounds and that the contents were clearly and simply presented with 
sound methods conformable to the laid down standard by the Project to produce 
the anticipated results. 

Stage Three — Editing 
When the manuscripts had been completed, it was then turned over to the editorial 
unit which was a part of the larger production unit. In the editor's room, the 
manuscript went through the intense processes of scrutiny. Efforts were made to see 
that both language ar.d sentence structure were appropriate, and, in respect of the 
mother-tongue (Yoruba), that the text reflected the new orthographic conventions. 
Here, again, attempts were made to remove from the manuscript any imperfections 
that might have originated from the writers. 

The editorial unit comprised the assistant editor and the head of the Production 
unit. Because of the volume of editing work involved, the assistant editor enlarged 
the editorial staff by training some interested undergraduate students of Yoruba 
and English language to assist in the exercise of editing. 

As the manuscripts were typed out, a copy went to the head of the production 
unit. He would study the content and suggest what he deemed necessary to enhance 
its quality and standard. He would also add notes to the text giving explanations on 
art briefs where needed. The suggestions were tabled for discussion with the artist 
who would also give his views on how best the illustration should be presented to 
meet the standard and demands of the text (book). 


Stage Four — Production 

For ease of operation, when a manuscript was completed and submitted to the pro- 
duction unit, the unit made out three typed copies. 

One of these went lo the editorial unit for action as already described; another 
went to the head of the production unit similarly for appropriate action as previous- 
ly described; but the third typed copy was filed away with the manuscript for future 
reference and treatment. 

Illustrations had to be cut out and mounted on blank pages for scanning. Where 
extra texts had to be added to illustrations, space for each illustration was marked 
out on a blank typing sheet with the space for the text given to the typist. At this 
stage, the production had to be done with precision. 

After the manuscript had been faired, the typed stencils were arranged with the il- 
lustrated sheets inserted in the correct sequences. A final check-up followed to 
ensure that the text flowed smoothly from one page to the other, then the pages 
were numbered in serial order; the plain sheets with illustrations were then pulled 
out for scanning. It was after this that the complete script with illustrations were mi- 
meographed for use in schools. The number of mimeographed copies produced al- 
ways depended on the Project school population at any given period. For example, 
in the first year, the Project school population was 80. There were 5 subject areas 
with a minimum of 3 texts for each subject area, giving us a minimum of 1,200 co- 
pies of the mimeographed texts. With an annual intake of not fewer than 80 pupils 
for six years, the Project produced a minimum of 7,200 copies of mimeographed 
texts in the 6th year alone for the St Stephens' (Pilot) school. For the 10 prolifera- 
tion schools, an additional 10,500 copies were produced in the 6th year alone. 

Production of materials was not a once- for-all activity; it was a continuous enga- 
gement. For instance, a text was sent to the classroom for trial-test to establish its ap- 
propriateness. In the process of trial testing, some mistakes-errors of facts or infor- 
mation or even statistics, might be discovered. This might involve re-writing of a 
new piece or correction of a few pages. If the errors were extensive enough, the re- 
writing might involve all the processes of selecting fresh materials, editing, illustra- 
ting etc. All texts were under constant review for validation. 

Personnel in the Production Unit 

In addition to the head of the Production Unit and his assistant, a full time resident 
artist was assigned to the Unit. There were also other members of the Institute staff 
who assisted with the different facets of production, for example, typing, editing, 
scanning, collating, binding, etc. 



Teacher Training for the Project 

Background to Teacher Training 

Though many new pre-service and in-service teacher improvement programmes 
have been introduced by the Federal and State Ministries of Education since the im- 
plementation of the Project, the teacher training programme as it existed for prima- 
ry education at the advent of the Project is presented in this report. 

As mentioned earlier, the training of primary school teachers took place princi- 
pally at the Grade II teacher training colleges. The period of training depended on 
the entry qualification of the student. Those with primary six school leaving certifi- 
cate spent five years in training; those with full secondary education, one year. The 
Grade II colleges combined professional training with secondary school subjects. 
Ironically, these primary school teachers in training were not trained in the use of 
mother tongue as a medium of education. It was assumed that exposure to Infant 
Methods would make up for other inadequacies, though effort was made to teach 
English methods. Furthermore, a Nigerian language e.g. Yoruba, Hausa or Ibo was 
not a compulsory subject for primary teachers whereas English was compulsory. As 
mentioned earlier, the ability to read, write and speak English is still considered 
to be the hallmark of educational excellence. However, because of the limited edu- 
cational background of most teachers trained in these Grade II colleges, their stan- 
dard of English was often low. Like the pupils they taught, many of these teachers 
were neither proficient in Yoruba nor in English; consequently, the children were 
exposed to bad models. With this background therefore, the Project Organizers felt 
the need for intensive re-training of the teachers selected for the Project. Since it was 
not possible to send all the teachers back to the college due to time constraint, it was 
decided that training would take varied forms and should be such that would not 
take the teachers out of their post for any length of time unless they were on study 



Teacher Training for the Project 

Teacher training for the Project took five different forms. They were as follows: 

(a) Regular 'On The Job Training' ; 

(b) Evaluation Workshops; 

(c) Special Workshops for Introducing New Materials; 

(d) Long Vacation Workshops for Text Writing and Teaching Methods; 

(e) Short Overseas Training for specially selected teachers on the Project. 

Other training programmes which were not directly built into the Project but 
from which teachers and supervisors benefitted immensely were: 

(i) the Ford Foundation sponsored Masters and Doctoral programmes 
which were undertaken in the United States by two Institute staff who 
were participating in the Project; and 

(ii) the Associateship Diploma Course in Pre-Primary and Primary Educa- 
tion from which Project specialists were drawn. 

The Associateship Diploma course was organized by the Institute of Education, 
University of Ife, and it operated the new syllabus as recommended by the Project. 
Each of the five scheduled training programmes listed above had a specific aim and 
purpose. The teaching of all the five subject areas were covered in great detail. Con- 
siderable emphasis was placed on training teachers for language use and teaching, 
that is, the mother tongue and English, since the Project was an experiment in Lan- 
guage Education. 

It had been assumed over the years, that it was not necessary to train a teacher to 
teach his mother tongue as a subject or to use it as a medium of instruction. Howe- 
ver, the structure of the Project soon proved that assumption to be wrong. Observa- 
tions of classroom teaching which were carried out before the commencement of the 
Project, showed that, teachers needed to be trained to teach and use the mother ton- 
gue for the success of the Project. It was also thought necessary and impor- 
tant for all teacher training colleges to incorporate this aspect of language education 
in the national teacher training programmes; especially as the National Policy on 

Education recommends the use of the mother tongue as a medium of instruction in 
the early years of primary education. 

Extensive work was done in respect of mother tongue training because of the di- 
rect bearing it has on the successful teaching and learning of English as a second lan- 
guage. Each of the training programmes therefore endeavoured to put the teachers 
through the rudiments of language teaching. There was co-ordination between the 
two languages at every stage. 

Teachers were taught to appreciate the fact that, though the mother tongue and 
the second language must be taught as separate entities, the systematic teaching of 
the mother tongue has many benefits for the learning of the second language. There 



First Writing Workshop, Summer 1970 

Standing left to right: P. Orimoloye; J.S. Afolayan; A. Afolabi; Mr. 

Jibodu; J.O. Ofesanmi; M. Afolayan; C.A. 
Sitting left to Right: D.A. Ologunde; A. Adetugbo; I.O. Delano; Fowole; J.F. Lawuyi; E.I. A. Adenuga; J.O. 

J.I. Macauley A.B. Fafunwa; M. Shaplin; Ajimoko; L.A. Akioye; S.O. Onofowokan; 

J.A.F. Sokoya; A.M. Caosebikan; B.O. Osi- R.O. Alabi; Mrs. Ogunjimi; J. Akinola; R.O. 

bodu; J.O.B. Adebambo; Olabode; 

Back row (last) E.O. Ilori; A. A. Adelani; J. A. Akere; F.O. Fatudinu; 

Mrs Ayoola; C. Adebayo; J. A. Salako; M.A. Makindc; 
J.O. Abiri; A. Afolayan. 


1 6 


Control Group: 1975 Graduation. St. Stephen's 'A* Modakeke. 

i 4 * 







v i 

X. it Nil* «A«vt* 


v*. *«- 4[* 


3 q 3 4 f 

<OT *\% i."*^ 




4-i;fJP £Sft * A 

Experimental Lead-in Group: 1975 Graduation St. Stephens * A* Modakeke. 



l<.l(fl«l MDKlE 

i 1 




Mi * 


!» £ 9 ,1, S f 

St, Stephen's A Primary School Teachers 

University of Ife Graduation December 1987: 

Prof. A.B. Fafunwa received honorary LL.D. while Miss Oluseyi Olojede, one 
of the first pupils admitted to year 1 of the six year primary project in 1970 recei- 
ved her M.Phil in Linguistic at the same ceremony. 


L to R: D. A. Ologunde, A.M.Laosebikan, A.B.Fafunwa (Director) Standing, 
Late Mrs. M. Shaplin and J.A.F. Sokoya 

D.A. Ologunde (Sitting) 
Surrounded by L to R: Mr. J.O. Adebambo, Prof. A.B. Fafunwa and 
Prof. Bisi Afolayan 

C " 

Extreme left: Former Governor Tunji Adebayo and 
extreme right is Professor Juliet I. Macauley. 

L to R: Prof. A.B. Fafunwa, Prof. Tunde Yoloye, late Mr. A. Adigun, 
Mr. J.O. Odeyale and Chief J.L. Winjobi. 

I i 

Secretariat Staff 1970 


is the possibility of transfer of skills; for example, all the basic language skills of vi- 
sual perception and discrimination, auditory perception and discrimination, con- 
cept formation and sensory experiences are transferable from the mother tongue ex- 
perience to the second language, thereby making the learning of English faster and 
more interesting. 

Furthermore, the Project also had the policy that pupils should learn to read first 
and well in Yoruba before they are made to read formally in English. This was to 
avoid undue pressure on the pupils and to further strengthen their transfer of skills. 
With this background therefore, it was imperative that there should be good co-ordi- 
nation between the training for and the teaching of the mother tongue, Yoruba and 
English as a second language. 
Regular On-The-Job Training 

In order to facilitate the correct use of the curriculum materials, regular demonstra- 
tions and guidance were given to teachers while they were teaching in the classroom. 
Project supervisors observed them teach the content while notes were made of errors 
or malpractices as the case may be. The teachers later held discussions with the su- 
pervisors as to how such lessons could be improved. Whenever it was necessary, the 
specialists in the subject area who had participated in the writing of the texts were 
invited to the classroom to give demonstration and other assistance needed. 

This process also gave the writers the opportunity to observe classroom interac- 
tions for formative evaluation of the texts, the pupils and the teachers. 
Evaluation Workshops for Teachers and Other Participants 
These were organized regularly by the consultant evaluator and his team. The 
workshops were directed at every participant of the Project. Writers were trained to 
incorporate formative evaluation processes in their texts. They were also, taught the 
processes of summative evaluation. Supervisors were trained to evaluate text and te- 
acher effectiveness, pupil performances as well as the programme itself. Classroom 
teachers were taught to apply constant formative evaluation as they taught and they 
also learned to participate in the summative evaluation at terminal points of the 

These workshops served many useful purposes. Not only did they bring the curri- 
culum developers in close contact with the realities of the classroom events, they al- 
so helped to establish a unique system of formative evaluation which did not exist in 
the Nigerian primary school prior to the commencement of the Project. The officers 
of the Ministry of Education were also invited to participate in these workshops. 
This gave them a chance to implement the new approaches to teaching and testing in 
the generality of primary schools in the State. 
Special Workshops for Introducing New Materials 

Annually, when new texts were ready for the classroom, workshops were conduc- 
ted for the purpose of ensuring that teachers could handle the full complement ot 


texts. The text writers and project supervisors went through each stage of the mate- 
rials with the teachers, putting them through the units and lessons step by step. Tea- 
chers would have learned to prepare visual aids and other supportive materials du- 
ring the summer writing workshop. At this special workshop, they learned to use 
both the visual aids and the texts through a co-ordinated process. During this 
exercise, problems which arose could be attended to immediately, thereby reducing 
possible incidents of conflict or confusion in the classroom. 

Long Vacation Workshops for Text Writing and Teaching Methods 

Each of these workshops served as a training period for the teachers. Through wor- 
king co-operatively with the text writers, though they themselves were not writers, 
they learned to understand the process of grading and staging in language text wri- 
ting. They got to understand why specific language items were taught as well as how 
and when they should be taught. Their experiences in the classroom guided the deci- 
sions on the quantity of content to be taught at each given stage. For example, the 
teachers were responsible for testing each new text material in their respective class- 
rooms and for providing feed-backs on problems and difficulties encoun- 
tered by the children and these always led to re-writing of text materials by the re- 
spective writing panels of which the teachers were members. They were indeed ex- 
pert advisers to the university cum college of education subject-matter specialists in 
Social and Cultural Studies, Science, Mathematics, Yoruba and English. As the 
texts were written and re-written, teachers learned to prepare notes for teaching them 
as well as the appropriate visual aids for making lessons more interesting and easier 
to assimilate. Writers had the opportunity to supervise the teacher's assignments 
and to teach them how to teach other teachers in the school system these innovative 
approaches to learning. 

Short Overseas Training 

As part of the training programme for the Project, teachers were sent to the United 
States for a period of six to eight weeks during the long vacation, for intensive trai- 
ning under the tutelage of the Ford Foundation Consultant to the Project. Teachers 
were selected for the course on the basis of their competence and interest in the Pro- 
ject. The courses were conducted through lectures, observation in schools, and se- 
minars at the selected Universities. Subjects and topics covered were as follows: 

mother-tongue teaching methods, 

group and individual teaching, 

classroom organization, 

remediation of learning difficulties, 

the teaching of English as a second language, 

the teaching of Social Studies, 

the teaching of Mathematics and Science and 

the evaluation of Language Achievement. 



These teachers were expected on their return, to be more effective in the class- 
room and to serve as resource persons at Teachers* Resource Centres in the State. 

Long-Term Training Plan 

Since it was envisaged that the new curriculum designed by the Project organizers 
would be adopted in the entire system of education in the State Schools, it was resol- 
ved to build up a reservoir of competent teachers who would be able to meet the new 
challenges when the programme became the State curriculum in primary schools. 
Consequently, the University of Ife, Institute of Education injected into its one-year 
Associateship Diploma Programme such courses as would equip the Diploma stu- 
dents to meet the teaching requirements of the new curriculum. 

The training of teachers was a major activity in the Project. It was a continuous 
exercise; and apart from the well-defined programmes such as described above, the 
Project also made provisions for training 'on demand', and for evaluating activi- 
ties to ensure a high standard of efficiency in all the operations. 



Teaching and Learning Situations 

Oassroom Guidelines for Both Experimental and Control Classes 

At the beginning of the Project in 1970, policies were formulated to serve as guideli- 
nes for class organizations in both control and experimental classes as follows: 

(i) teachers in both control and experimental classes should be Grade ll 
Certificated and experienced teachers; 

(ii) teachers should be allocated to the classes without any bias. In other 
words, the better teachers should not be assigned to the Experimental 
classes alone. Both classes should have an equal balance of experienced 
and competent teachers; 

(iii) teachers should show willingness to work hard, accept new approaches 
to teaching and co-operate with the Project organizers; 

(iv) teachers should be f eptive to change and should also be well suited to 
lower primary teaching. (For example, a teacher was removed from the 
Project at the initial stage because of her inability to relate to children); 

(v) teachers should be willing to participate in Workshops and in-service- 
training programmes; 

(vi) teachers should be capable of making correct and imaginative use of 
Project materials. 

The degree of their contribution by way of feed-back on materials used 
would be considered in determining their retention on the Project. 

Integration of Learning Areas Through Improved Time-Tabling 

The Time-Table for teaching was re-designed to accommodate the new learning are- 
as and to integrate isolated activities into related subject areas. The subjects listed 
below reflect the contents of the old and new Time-Tables. 


Religious Instruction 
Physical Exercise 


Religious Instruction 
Physical Exercise 



Arithmetic New Mathematics 

Yoru ba Yoruba Language Arts 

English English Language Arts 

Spelling and Dictation English Language Arts 

Writing English Language Arts 

Nature Study Integrated Science 

Hygiene Integrated Science 

Gardening Integrated Science 

Arts and Crafts Arts and Crafts 

Singing Traditional Music 

Geography Social and Cultural Studies 

History Social and Cultural Studies 

Civics Social and Cultural Studies 

Where subjects were integrated for more meaningful learning, the syllabuses were 
designed to ensure the acquisition of required skills and concepts through properly 
structured interrelated activities and exercises. With the new time table, each class 
teacher did some reorganizing of work plan and emphasis was placed °" integrated 
learning. Each class teacher was responsible for the teaching of every subject in his 
or her class, except English in the Experimental classes, which was taught by a spe- 
cialist teacher of English. The free periods thus created for the experimental class 
teachers by their not teaching English, were utilized in understudying the specialist 
teacher's approach to language teaching. Furthermore, such teachers also served as 
substitute teachers whenever any teacher in the Project was unavoidably absent. 
Such periods were also used, in part, for the preparation of visual aids. 

Teaching of Subject Areas 

As highlighted earlier, it was the policy of the Project that the teaching of all sub- 
jects would be carried out in Yoruba in the experimental classes from Primary 1 to 6 
while English was to be taught as a second language from Primary 1 to 6. In the con- 
trol classes, the teaching of all subjects was to be done in Yoruba only up to Primary 
3 Thereafter, all subjects would be taught in English, with Primary 4 serving as the 
transitional stage. English was also to be taught as a second language from Primary 

1 to 6 in the control classes. 

The general approach of integrated learning with systematic development of con- 
cepts was encouraged in all the learning situations of the different subject areas Jo 
this end, detailed instructions were provided in all the teachers' guides and teachers 
were encouraged to prepare and use the accompanying visual aids. Practical work 
and home assignments were also supervised carefully. These ranged between science 
activities and Social Studies Projects. Since this Project focuses on the effects of lan- 
guage medium on learning, more details will be presented later in this chapter on the 



learning and teaching situations with respect to the Yoruba Language lessons, and 
the English Language lessons in particular, than on the other subject areas. Some 
highlights will however be presented on the teaching and learning of Social Studies, 
Mathematics and Science, while the major innovations in these three subject areas 
will be reflected in the development of the new curriculum and texts for these areas. 

Social and Cultural Studies 

As mentioned earlier, this was a new area of learning for the primary school child 
and the teacher. It was aimed at creating in the children an awareness of the existing 
social and cultural norms and of the need to respect them. It also sought to help the 
children develop a systematic understanding of their social and cultural environ- 
ment and to help them develop skills, behaviours and attitudes needed to meet the 
ever changing demands of society. 

The learning situations were enjoyed by the pupils and teachers alike because the 
contents were meaningful to them and also served as the child's source of contact 
with a world beyond the walls of the classroom. The scheme of teaching started with 
the child's home environment, school, and community and carried him through the 
larger community to the country and later on, the outside world. 

Parents and guardians were given the opportunity to participate in their 
children's learning through the supply of information and materials for class work 
and group Projects. The classroom interactions in the experimental classes where the 
Yoruba medium was used in Primary 4,5 and 6, reflected a good flow of discourse 
and lively questioning. Pupils participated freely and extensively, verbally and in 
their written work. 

Since the greater proportion of topics in Social Studies at the primary level are not 
only localized but are also culture — bound, the pupils showed evidences of learning 
more and enjoying their lessons better through the Yoruba medium. This assertion 
was confirmed by the various results of achievement tests given to the Project pu- 
pils. (See the section on Evaluation). 

Social Studies has been seen on the Project as a subject which has given the pu- 
pils, especially the experimental group, a unique opportunity for extensive language 
development and enrichment, with a deeper understanding of their cultural heritage. 

This was particularly evidenced in topics related to traditional ceremonies and cultu- 
ral practices. 

Integrated Science 

The teaching of science through the Yoruba medium generated a great deal of con- 
troversy. Hitherto, science had been taught in Nigeria through the English medium. 
However, classroom experiences had shown that quite often, difficult language 
structures and unfamiliar lexical items were an impediment to knowledge acquisi- 
tion and the understanding of basic scientific concepts. 



During the development of textbooks, in Yoruba, it had been agreed that vocabu- 
lary would be extended through coinage, borrowing and extension of referential co- 
verage. This principle made the development of texts and the learning of the sub- 
jects easier and more enjoyable. Because the teachers were teaching through the 
mother tongue, they exhibited greater confidence and knowledge of their subject. 
They reported at some of the workshops that they found it easier to understand the 
Teachers' Guides and for the first time, 'experiments in science' meant something to 

Several video tapes were made of classroom interactions on the Project, while 
both the experimental and the control classes were learning the different subjects. 
The spontaneous responses and participation from the experimental classes 4,5 and 
6 in the teaching of science were reflective of active learning with a better understan- 
ding of what was being taught; whereas the control classes reflected passive learning 
with language inhibition on the part of the pupils. Fewer questions were asked in the 
control classes and the teachers seemed to be very conscious of language errors, sin- 
ce they were teaching in English. This in itself created a barrier to the expected flow 
of verbal interaction in the classroom. Furthermore, the responses from pupils in 
the experimental classes showed that they were able to carry out their home assign- 
ments on simple experiments with greater ease and enjoyment because they under- 
stood the assignments better and could therefore ask for assistance within their ho- 
me and community when this was called for. 


At the time the Project started the situation with regard to the teaching of Mathema- 
tics in the classroom was as follows: 

(i) the teaching of Mathematics was in the hands of the class teacher who in 
many cases taught Mathematics because he had to and if he had his way, 
would rather be spared the agony of teaching the subject; 

(ii) the erroneous idea prevalent among teachers that the higher your acade- 
mic and/or professional qualification, the higher should be the class you 
taught. Thus in many schools, the lower classes were manned by untrai- 
ned teachers, and this affected the teaching of mathematics as well 
as other subjects; 

(iii) at that time many primary school teachers did very little Mathematics if 
any at all, consequently they did not find it easy to teach Mathematics 
with understanding. They therefore resorted to formulae and rules. For 
example, while a pupil could find the simple interest on N500 for 5 years 
at 10%, the same pupil hardly knew what to do when asked at what rate 
a naira is lent to yield a kobo a month. The reason for this is that while 




he could use the formular I = Yqq to get the solution to the first que- 
stion, the second question required a clear grasp of the concept of sim- 
ple interest which he had either not been taught or at best, taught poor- 

(iv) academic inadequacy and in some cases lack of professional training on 
the part of the teacher resulted in a very weak foundation for the 
pupils, which created in the pupils a dread of the subject; 

(v) there was an over-dependence of the teacher on the text-book and many 
problems in the textbook became unsuitable, as passage of time had er- 
roded whatever foundation in reality the book might have laid claim to; 

( vl ) though the official medium of instruction in Primary 4,5 and 6 was Eng- 
lish, it was common to find the teacher interpreting his mathematical 
questions in Yoruba after writing them in English on the blackboard; 

( vu ) it was difficult for the teacher to explain to the pupils in a way that they 
would understand mathematical concepts, which he himself hardly 
understood, even when he used the mother-tongue. It was impossible 
therefore to compel him to do so in a language he could not claim ma- 
stery of. 

With the above background therefore, the development of the Mathematics texts 
for both pupils and teachers had to reflect innovative processes. The approach to 
teaching also needed to be such that learning would be ensured. All of these were 
achieved firstly through the Teachers' Guide and secondly through the systematic 
presentation of the lessons. 

The major thrust in the teaching of Mathematics on the Project was in the exten- 
sive use of activities for the acquisition of mathematical concepts. Through careful- 
ly designed exercises and activities, the pupils were led to discover solutions to pro- 
blems rather than being given rules and formulae. Thus the method applied was 

The teaching of a number involves the concept and the name of the number as 
well as the recognition and the writing of the symbol (numeral) for the number. 
Here again, the Project ensured that the pupils were introduced to numbers in a sim- 
ple way and with the use of one language only. With the old method, the child was 
forced to make three associations thus: 












eeta etc. 



He was forced to recognize the symbol, then repeat in chorus, the name of the 
number in English and in Yoruba. With the Project approach, the pupil was led to 
recognize the symbol and associate it with its Yoruba name only, thus: 

1 — ookan 

2 — eeji 

3 — eeta 

The English names for numbers were learned during the English lessons. This not 
only removed the confusion that usually existed, it also made the acquisition of 
number concept easier once the second language element was removed. Critics of 
this method expressed the fear that pupils would have difficulty switching to English 
at the secondary level of education. Though it was expected that all the Project chil- 
dren would need a period of transition at the beginning of secondary education, in 
all subject areas, it was discovered later from evaluation reports that the emphasis 
placed on the latent problems of language switch at the secondary level was grossly 
exaggerated. The Evaluation Chapter gives actual results of pupils' achievements at 
different levels of the Project. 


Language acquisition and development were given a great deal of attention on the 
Project. Since Yoruba was to be used as the medium of instruction, teachers were 
trained to teach Yoruba as a first language and to use it as a medium of instruction. 
They were taught to distinguish between the teaching of a first language or mother- 
tongue and the teaching of a second language. Through the competences thus deve- 
loped by the teachers, pupils were able to develop creative use of the Yoruba langua- 
ge. This skill was particularly needed with Yoruba as the medium of instruction for 
the entire 6 years of primary education. 
Teacher's Use of Yoruba As a Medium of Instruction 

The Project did not assume that the teachers could teach through the Yoruba medi- 
um effectively simply because they were native speakers of the language. It was 
common knowledge that the early methods of bilingual education used in Nigerian 
schools unfortunately did not promote sufficiently the systematic and creative deve- 
lopment of the mother-tongues. Project teachers were therefore given training in the 
use of Yoruba as a medium of instruction so that learning situating may yield 
high pupil-achievement. During the course of training, emphasis was placed on the 
learning processes below: '■ 

(i) teachers were warned to be careful in their choice of words and expres- 
sions in the process of teaching. It was observed in the early stages of the 
Project that when teachers taught freely in the mother-tongue and had 
no language inhibition, there was the tendency for some of them to re- 
sort to the use of bad language in class when they were angry with the 


If. 5 

pupils. Stress was therefore laid on the fact that children imitate adults, 
especially in the use of language, and teachers must serve as good mo- 
dels within and outside the classroom; 

(ii) teachers were taught how to use creative language with the correct appli- 
cation of appropriate Yoruba proverbs and idiomatic expressions be- 
cause these are part of the linguistic qualities of the Yoruba language; 

(iii) teachers were constantly reminded that utterances must always be wit- 
hin the level of understanding of the pupils. Whenever new vocabulary 
or concepts were used in the process of teaching and these happened to 
be outside the body of knowledge in the lesson being taught, teachers 
must be careful to explain so that pupils' learning may be enriched and 
not frustrated; 

(iv) since the use of the mother-tongue was observed to be devoid of langua- 
ge inhibition, teachers were taught to encourage questions from their 
pupils and to create stimulating verbal interactions during the lessons in 
order to promote maximum learning; 

(v) teachers were taught to write their lesson notes in Yoruba so that they 
might think out their lesson presentation in the language they were to 
teach it, thereby creating enriched learning environment with pure lan- 
guage usage; 

(vi) when teaching the other subjects — mathematics, integrated science and 
social studies, correct registers were to be used at all times and in Yoru- 
ba language only. There was to be no code switching in any form. Tea- 
chers were therefore taught to work closely with the subject writers so 
that they might acquire the new concepts being introduced as well as the 
appropriate labels for them. 

With the training received, the teachers were able to use the Yoruba language mo- 
re efficiently. They were more articulated and their lessons were more rewarding. 
Furthermore, both teachers and pupils enjoyed the lessons better. When teachers 
were first instructed to write their lesson notes in Yoruba, they had great difficulty; 
but with training, they progressively found it easier and more rewarding. 

Teaching Yoruba As A Subject 

Here also the Project teachers were given intensive training. They learned that there 
was a measure of difference between teaching a mother tongue as a subject and tea- 
ching a second language as a subject. They learnt that when the children bring 
their language to school, they already have a basic foundation for intensive oral lan- 
guage development which is a major pre requisite for reading. 

A. The Reading Readiness Programme 

A great deal of emphasis was placed on reading readiness in the first year of school 
on the Project. The scheme was carefully designed to prepare the children for 



general learning and for reading. A decision was taken by the language specialists of 
the Project that the pupils should be helped to read in Yoruba before formal reading 
began in English, for the reasons described below: 

(a) when basic readiness skills have been acquired through the mother 
tongue, they are transferable to another language, thus making re- 
ading in that other language easier and faster. These related in 
particular to the following skills: 

Visual perception and discrimination 

Auditory perception and discrimination 

Concept formation 

Sensory awareness 

General "listening skills 


Left to right progression and 
Space awareness. 

Provision was also made for additional readiness exercises in the Eng- 
lish class to take care of the fine points of discrimination which could 
cause negative transfers as a result of phonic and structural interferen- 
ces from the mother tongue; 

(b) preparing the child to read first in the mother tongue, allowed for 
the use of the Language Experience Approach to reading. This is 
where the child learns to link his speech habit with reading, there- 
by making the simple but unique discovery that reading is recor- 
ded speech; 

(c) initial reading problems could be spotted and rectified £t the rea- 
diness stage before growing into more serious problems; 

(d) motivation for reading generally could be stimulated through ini- 
tial mother-tongue reading because the child would be reading 
meaningful and interesting contents which are related to his expe- 
riences and environment. 

Teachers were trained to implement the reading readiness programme and ade- 
quate materials were provided, and they were also taught to produce visual aids of 
many varieties out of cardboard, objects, odds, and ends. Emphasis was placed on 
the extensive development of the listening skill, particularly the analytical level of 
listening which is vital for auditory discrimination. With Yoruba being a tonal 
language, it wr.s important that pupils should be trained carefully, not only to iden- 
tify and produce the sounds of their own language - Yoruba correctly, but also to 
accommodate the sounds of the English Language. 


B. Developing The Language Arts — Yoruba 

The four skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing were developed exten- 
sively during the Yoruba lessons. Strong points were made of the special quality and 
characteristics of the Yoruba language and environment. These were integrated in 
the teaching processes and classroom interactions as reflected in the four language 
skills below: 

(i) Listening and Speaking 

Teachers were reminded that the Yoruba culture had a very strong oral 
tradition and this should be tapped generously in developing pupils' crea- 
tive speaking habits. Furthermore, their attention was drawn to the 
most unsatisfactory, unstable bilingual situation in the average class- 
room, which created adults who could not speak pure Yoruba language 
without code switching or without interjecting their utterances with 
English words now and again. 

The child was expected to develop within and not outside his cultural 
heritage. Thus, the Project teachers were taught to select all positive 
elements of learning in traditional teaching. In the development of 
listening and speaking skills therefore, pupils were helped to develop: 

(a) the ability to listen attentively in order to reproduce correctly what 
was heard; 

(b) the ability to listen analytically to discriminate between the vario- 
us sounds and utterances heard; 

(c) the ability to observe situations carefully and critically and to 
describe them with appropriate words; 

(d) the ability to think deeply and analytically and to apply appro- 
priate traditional proverbs to buttress meaning during discourse; 

(e) the ability to reflect and to relate simple events in life to existing 
facts in nature and to use the correct words in expressing this; 

(f) the ability to use descriptive words and expressions which not only 
carry accurate meaning but demonstrate creativity as well. 

Oral composition and story telling were important activities during 
language lessons. The verbal interactions reflected active pupil partici- 
pations. Discussions, dramatizations and role play were also important 
activities during the lessons. Short poems (EWI) were also used fre- 

(ii) Reading and Writing 

Reading and writing were introduced to the pupils as an integrated pro- 
cess. During their oral exercise, pupils had been receiving lessons in me- 
chanical writing. By the time they were ready to read therefore, it was 



possible to introduce both reading and writing through the Experience 
Story Approach. With this method, pupils related their experiences 
whether as a group or as individuals in short and simple sentences. The 
teacher would write each sentence on the board for group story, or on 
paper for individual story. The story might run to five or six lines for a 

The teacher would read each sentence slowly back to the class. Next, the class or 
pupil would read the story with the teacher slowly, then finally, the pupil would read 
it by himself, and in the case of a group, collective reading was done. 

Project reading texts were very carefully graded with introductory picture and 
word/picture books as part of the reading readiness exercises. The content of rea- 
ders were varied but they were all related to the pupils* experiences and environ- 
ment. Class libraries were established to promote extensive reading habits. The invi- 
sible library system was also encouraged. Pupils were requested to buy one or two 
books from a list provided by the class teacher. Pupils then exchanged these with 
their classmates and each pupil thus had an opportunity to read at least 15 or 20 
other titles besides the one he/she provided. This system encouraged reading and 

In order to provide adequate reading materials for the lower classes, the pupils in 
the upper classes of primary 5 and 6 were encouraged to write short stories for 
pupils in primary 2, 3 and 4. Teachers were also encouraged to write stories for the 
children because it was discovered that there was a dearth of suitable Yoruba sup- 
plementary readers. 

Written composition was also given a great deal of attention on the Project; be- 
cause pupils and teachers tended to associate the Yoruba language with oral tradi- 
tion, deliberate efforts had to be made to train the teachers to teach and grade Yoru- 
ba written composition. The same processes and content for the creative develop- 
ment of oral language was used for the development of creative writing skills. In ad- 
dition to written composition, extensive exercises were also given in other areas of 
the language arts, such as grammar, word usage and various forms of communica- 
tion, including letter writing. 

C. The Remedial Programme 

Since the Project placed a great deal of value on reading, it was considered necessary 
to develop a remedial reading programme where initial reading problems could be 
identified and rectified. This unit later grew into a larger programme for the reme- 
diation of general learning difficulties. 

The remedial programme was designed in Yoruba since it is the child's mother 
tongue. Pupils of the lower primary classes, that is, classes I to III, who had difficul- 
ties with reading were sent to the unit. The process involved the following: 



(a) careful diagnosis of each pupil's specific difficulty; 

(b) grouping of pupils with the same type of difficulties; 

(c) designing appropriate exercises for remediation . 

A good percentage of the reading problems could be traced to insufficient readi- 
ness for reading. With few others, the difficulties arose as a result of emotional pro- 
blems. For those who were not sufficiently ready, the greatest areas of problems ten- 
ded to be visual and auditory perception and discrimination. Enquiries and observa- 
tions revealed that the degree and quality of readiness demonstrated by the pupils 
depended not only on the exposure they had to a structured readiness programme 
at school, but also on the type of home background they had. Those who were sent 
to the remedial unit tended to be those whose home environment offered little or no 
stimulus for initial reading. 

D. YorubaAsA Springboard For English 

The Yoruba readiness programme gave pupils the opportunity to develop basic read- 
ing skills at a faster rate than they would have done if they had attempted it initially 
through the English medium. Furthermore, since reading began first in Yoruba, initial 
difficulties were spotted and worked upon to minimize the event of negative transfers. 
Nevertheless, there were some areas in which negative transfers occurred. These will 
be discussed later. 

On the positive side, the greatest skill pupils acquired and used to advantage was 
A WARENESS. They became more aware of things and symbols with their similarities 
and differences; of sounds with their similarities and differences; of their senses and 
how to describe the related experiences. These they transferred readily into the second 
language and merely sought for new labels. Confusion tended to arise in situations 
where a particular concept had not been properly grasped or awareness had not been 

English as a Second Language 

The two languages used in the experiment, that is, Yoruba and English, were assig- 
ned specific roles in respect of the control and experimental groups. This was in con- 
sonance with the objectives of the Project as stated in the first chapter of this book. 
The roles were also clearly defined in order to test two of the hypotheses' which sta- 
ted that: 

(i) the child's command of English would be improved considerably 
through the teaching of English as an entirely separate subject by a spe- 
cially trained teacher, using appropriate and adequate second language 

(ii) at the end of six years, there would be no significant difference between 
the English Language achievement of the experimental group who used 



Yoruba as a medium of instruction for the entire duration of six years, 
with English taught only as a subject, and the control group who used 
Yoruba as the medium of instruction for three years and English for the 
remaining three years, with English taught as a subject for six years. 
(See table below): 

Table 8: Language Roles 




Yoruba Medium of 

Yoruba Medium of 




English as a Subject 

English as a Subject 


Yoruba Medium of 
English as a Subject 

English Medium of 
English as a Subject 

(a) English Language Roles For The Experimental Group 

(i) English was to be taught as a school subject for the role of imme- 
diate, correct and coherent communication, as well as a subsequent 
use as a medium of instruction at the secondary level of education. 

(ii) English lessons were to perform the additional role of medium 
servicing for all the other subjects which were taught through the 
Yoruba medium. This meant that concepts, registers and language 
structures which were specific to Mathematics, Elementary Scien- 
ce, and Social and Cultural Studies, would be incorporated in the 
English Language instructional materials and consequently the 

(b) English Language Role For The Control Group 

(i) English was to be taught as a school subject for communication 
and in preparation for its effective use as a medium of instruction at 
the primary level. 

(ii) English was to be used as a medium of instruction from primary 
four to six, to serve as reinforcement and preparation for its conti- 
nued use at the secondary level of education. 

(c) Implementation of Roles 

Prior to the assignment of language roles, studies had been made of ac- 
tual classroom practices in primary schools. Results had revealed the 
following problems: 


(i) poor teaching, unsatisfactory models and the inadequate supply 
of language instructional materials made pupils go through the 
painful process of learning and unlearning incorrect language 

(ii) the unstable bilingual situation in which the teacher switched back 
and forth between the use of English and the mother tongue cau- 
sed confusion in concept acquisition; 

(iii) there was an overwhelming percentage of primary six pupils who 
were not completely literate in either English or their mother- 
tongue, Yoruba, at the end of their six years primary education. 

These findings drew attention to the need to ensure a stable bilingual situation for 
the learner, in which the two languages (Yoruba and English) are introduced into 
the learner's environment in such a way that the two are clearly separated in their re- 
lated roles, their utility and their usage. This then became the primary objective of 
the language role assignment. 

In order to implement the assignment of language roles effectively and to ensure 
some measure of linguistic stability, the following principles were introduced: 

(i) English was to be taught systematically as a distinct subject with its own 

(ii) special attention was to be paid to possible areas of cultural, structural, 
phonological, and contextual interferences between English and Yoru- 

(iii) English was to be taught with pure usage. This meant that there should 
not be any substitution of lexis, phrases or total utterances from Yoruba 
to English or vice-versa. There should be no codeswitching during the 
English lessons; 

(iv) correct and appropriate lexis and expressions should be used at all times 
in respect of the two languages; 

(v) where occasion called for an explanation of a concept which does not 
exist in the English Language but does in the Yoruba Language, caution 
should be exercised and words should be carefully chosen in explaining 
meanings to the pupils, so as to avoid confusion. Where the concept is 
highly specialized, the language in which the concept exists should be 
used briefly to explain meaning to the pupils; 

(vi) through the teaching processes, pupils must be helped to understand 
that there are some concepts and interpretations of meanings which 
exist in one language but not in the other. Each language must be seen as 
a separate whole and should be learned thus. 

The role of English in the Experiment was not only clearly defined from the 
beginning of the Project, but was also greatly emphasized, because the public had 
erroneously assumed that English would not be taught at all in the experimental clas- 


ses, since Yoruba was being used as the medium of instruction in these classes. This 
assumption was carried to the extent that some parents were apprehensive about 
their children being assigned to the experimental class. However, by the time the 
Project had been in operation for three months, it became quite apparent to such 
parents, through their children's spoken English, that English was being taught and 
more effectively too. 

In order to meet the objectives of the Project, measures were taken to ensure good 
classroom interaction. These included: 

(1) increased periods of English per week; 

(2) clearly defined mode of pupil participation; 

(3) use of specialist teachers of English; 

(4) specified mode and degree of teacher involvement; 

(5) emphasis on extensive and intensive reading with particular attention 
paid to reading readiness in English, and finally, 

(6) remedial exercises for English. 

Increased Period of English Per Week 

In respect of the experimental and control groups, it was decided that more periods 
should be spent on English than is done in the average primary school. The time 
table was therefore reblocked to include two additional periods per week for classes 
I and II; three additional periods for classes III and IV, and four additional periods 
per week for Classes V and VI. At the lower level of classes I, II and III, the Project 
maintained the same number of periods for both the experimental and control 
groups. In the higher classes however, the periods differed since the control group 
were adhering to the State language Policy of English medium in the last three years 
of primary school. 

Active Pupil Participation 

The need for active pupil participation was highly stressed on the Project because it 
was believed that language should become a habit for the pupils to use it functional- 
ly. Consequently, the extensive use of dialogues for practising learned structures 
and sentence patterns; role play and dramatization of real life situations were all 
structured into the English course for enriched classroom activities. Language games- 
were also used generously for reinforcing the different units of language learned. 

Pupils were able to experience joy in the process of learning and were thus moti- 
vated to learn more and to remember what was practised over a period of time. Hit- 
herto, pupils tended to forget very easily because it used to be a process of rigid 
drills,' where pupils merely learned to repeat specific sentence patterns in response to 
set cues within the classroom environment. The moment situations changed or the 
format of the cues were altered, pupils tended to be at a loss. 


The process of dialogues, dramatization and role play created good opportunities 
for the pupils to work in groups and in pairs, thus giving meaning and creativity to 
their participation. Every English lesson became an event and a period of doing 
things with language. Sentence patterns were not just repeated in parrot fashion, 
they were put into functional use. Drills were used with substitutions for pattern 
practice and these exercises were done only after the pupils had grasped the concept 
of the structure. 

A great deal of emphasis was placed on good concept formation, both as part of 
the readiness exercises, and as a continued process in language development. The 
pupils on the Project demonstrated through the competence achieved, that when the 
concept associated with a grammatical structure is clearly understood, all rela- 
ted sentence patterns are more easily understood and remembered. 

Use of Specialist Teachers of English 

The original Project proposal specified the use of specialist teachers of English for 
the experimental classes with the class teachers teaching all the other subjects. In the 
control classes, the regular classroom teachers were to teach all subjects including 
English. This recommendation was made because of the need for the careful struc- 
turing and systematizing of language teaching in the experimental classes where the 
medium of learning was to be Yoruba, and English was to be taught as a subject only- 
for the entire duration of six years. 

These specialist teachers of English were so designated by virtue of the training in 
Language teaching which they received through the Associateship Diploma Course 
in Pre-Primary and Primary Education, at the University of Ife, Ile-Ife. The training 
emphasized the correct methods of teaching the mother tongue — Yoruba in this ca- 
se, and English as a second language. This covered carefully structured training in 
these two languages both as subjects and as tools of teaching and learning. 

During the first year of the Project, the State Ministry of Education paid official 
visits to the school in order to evaluate the Project. The Ministry commended the 
Project on its achievement, particularly on the pupil's command of English. How- 
ever, the report reflected the Government's objection to the use of specialist tea- 
chers of English on the following grounds: 

(i) specialist teachers were not usually employed for the primary level of 
education because the Government could not afford the cost of main- 
taining them; 

their use at this level created a privileged work situation and suggested a 

(ii) staffing policy which the Government could not accept at that point in 

(iii) specialist teachers could not be replicated fast enough all over the States 
and there was the likelihood that even if this were possible, they would 

be under-utilized in some schools. This would amount to a waste of 
money and human resources. 



In response to the issues raised above, the Project organizers put forward the pro- 
posals below: 

(a) the use of specialist teachers could be effected without any additional 
cost to the Government beyond tne adequate training of the teachers 
meant for primary schools; 

(b) within the framework of each primary school, teachers who had recei- 
ved good training in the teaching of language, that is, English and Yoru- 
ba, should be assigned to teach these subjects in addition to holding 
their own classes. They would then be relieved of some periods which 
would be taken by the teachers whose classes were being taught Yoruba 
or English. This would set off a system of team teaching; 

(c) where this was not feasible, each class teacher should be given in-service 
training in the teaching of English and Yoruba. 

As a result of these issues raised, the proliferation exercise of the Project was un- 
dertaken with the use of class teachers for all the subjects including English. As re- 
commended in (c) above, the class teachers were given intensive training in the tea- 
ching of English as a subject and the use of it as the medium of instruction. This was 
of course training on the job. Evaluation of the Project pupils revealed that in the 
proliferation schools, all the experimental groups performed significantly better in 
English than the control groups. However, in the pilot school where specialist tea- 
chers were used, the experimental groups performed significantly better than the ex- 
perimental groups of the proliferation schools. This showed that there is some value 
in the use of specialist teachers. 

Specified Mode and Degree of Teacher Involvement 

Teachers of English were made conscious of the fact that their lessons would need to 
be carefully prepared and systematically presented. They would need to make 
appropriate visual aids and use them correctly. They would need to record points 
observed about the pupils' progress and problems as the lessons were covered. They 
would need to participate in the development and evaluation of teaching and lear- 
ning materials. They would also be expected to give feedback comments on class- 
room events in respect of language teaching and any intervening variable which was 
not previously envisaged but which had to be coped with nonetheless. To this end, 
teachers were provided with books for entering such comments. 



Since teachers had been trained to handle the various instructional materials cor- 
rectly, they were expected to use them maximally so that the pupils could benefit 
from them. Unlike the average primary school where pupils hardly had enough 
books, the Project ensured that an appropriate and adequate number of books were 
placed in the hands of the teachers and the pupils. Pupils wanted to explore the 
books. This placed greater responsibility on the teachers because it meant ensuring 
that the books were well used and carefully handled by the pupils. When a pupil lost 
a book, he was made to pay a little sum toward cost of replacement. 

One of the major responsibilities the English Language teacher had was that of 
ensuring that the correct staging of the learning process was adhered to. For exam- 
ple, the Project had the policy of extensive oral exercises to promote the functional 
use of oral English and to prepare pupils adequately for reading with good compre- 
hension. But, because reading normally started a few months earlier in the average 
primary school than was recommended on the Project, a great deal of pressure was 
brought by the parents on the teachers, for reading to begin at the usual time. Tea- 
chers had to be encouraged by the supervisors to abide by the Project policy until 
the extended oral language scheme could be proved superior. When the first set of 
pupils eventually began to read and they proved to be efficient and avid readers, the 
parents relaxed their pressure and the teachers felt more confident to continue with 
the scheme. 

Emphasis was Placed on Reading with Comprehension 

During the training of the English Language teachers, great emphasis was placed on 
reading with comprehension. To achieve this, the programme recommended a rea- 
ding readiness process with extensive exercises in visual and auditory perception and 
discrimination, concept formation, sensory awareness, experience stories, dialo- 
gues, role plays, dramatization and language games. These activities were to be done 
extensively in the Yoruba lessons and then reinforced in the English lessons. 

Reading in Yoruba was also designed to begin before reading in English. 

This foundation made it possible for the pupils to read with greater ease and un- 
derstanding and to develop an interest in reading. In the Project classes, the pupils 
were known for their passion for reading. This habif was still evident in a good per- 
centage of them at the secondary school level, as evidenced in the report of the 
follow-up studies. 

Remedial Exercises For English 

As with the Yoruba programme, the remedial exercises for English wert closely rela- 
ted to the reading readiness exercises. With each problem identified, traces were made 

to the original steps which were designed for developing the specific skill, beginning 
with the very elementary step. 



It was discovered that some of the problems occurred as a result of negative trans- 
fers or interference between the first and second languages. For example, negative 
transfers occurred in the areas of: 

(a) sound 

(b) structure and 

(c) meaning. 

These were evident in their speech, spelling of words, particularly in dictation exer- 
cises and in the formation of sentences. In the area of sound, the Yoruba child often 
has difficulty with consonant clusters mainly because the sound arrangement of his 
language consists of consonant vowel (cv) with neither clusters nor dipthongs 
graphs. As a result, he tends to interpose a vowel between consonant clusters. For 
example he says: sikip instead of skip; diro instead of draw. 

Quite often also, his problem is poor visual perception, reversals or substitutions. 
For example the following were identified as common problems for which pupils re- 
ceived remedial exercises: 

Table 9: Common Problems for whi.h Pupils received remedial exen ises 






reversal, caused by visual simi- 

larity of form. 



reversal, visual and conceptual^ 

similarity of form and meaning. 



auditory, visual and conceptual 

similarity of sound and mea- 




substitution of symbols due to 

similarity of sound. 

In the middle classes of primary III and IV, some common problems were also 
identified as being the result of interference, and for these appropriate remedial 
exercises were designed. For example, pupils had problems with noun and verb con- 
cord. This is possibly due to the fact that in the Yoruba language, there is no struc- 
tural change to the noun or verb to indicate singular or plural number. In the case of 
verbs, there is also no structural change of nouns or tenses in the case of the vt:bs to 
indicate past or present tense. Rather, it is an addition of a qualifying word or 
groups of words which indicate what is intended. For example: 





1. The boy is playing 



Omokunrin naa n sere 
Omokunrin naa nsere 
A won omokunrin naa n sere 
A won omokinrin naa n sere 

2. The boy was playing 

3. The boys are playing 

4. The boys were playing 

The examples given above show that in the Yoruba ianguage, the noun and verb 
remained constant, while the nouns and verbs in the English language went through 
structural changes. In the last two sentences of coiumn 2, the word (A won) indicates 
plural. With this type of problem, remedial exercises took the form of substitution 
tables, sentence card games and dramatization of relevant situations. 

The Teaching Process 

The teaching process is best described through the presentation of skills developed, 
materials used, the teaching methods applied and the testing procedure adopted as 
shown below: 

Oral use of English Teacher's Guide specially pre- Teachers were expec- Oral tests were plan- 
Language for easy pared for the Experimental ted to follow the gut- ned and administe- 
communication and group Books 1-6 contained delines in the teachers' red individually 
pheilsio 11 " 1 compre ' detailed instructions and gui- books, the procedures This usually spread 
P n " delines for various activities, outlines contained acti- over a couple of 
Teachers own collection of titles that not only days. Test items co- 
common objects, pictures and gave knowledge but vered all areas of 
children's own experiences promoted understan- skills taught and 
which could stimulate conver- ding and encouraged they tested for the 

Table 10: Teaching Process 

Skills Developed 

Materials Used 

Teaching Method Testing Procedure 
Formative in Nature 

sation in class. 

applications. Activi- 
ties ranged between 
dramatization, role 
play, language game, 
dialogues, debates 
and impromptu spee- 
ches In class. 

different levels of 
mastery that is, 
knowledge, under- 
standing, thinking, 
and application. Re- 
sults of tests were 
examined and reme- 
dial exercises were 
planned accordin- 
gly, thus effecting 
formative evalua- 


Skill! Developed 

Material* Uted 

Teaching Method 

Testing Procedure 
Formative in Nature 

Z Reading with compre- 
hension at different 

1. English course Reader 1-6. 

2. Supplementary readers 

3. English version of the texts 
written for other subject 

(a) Science 

(b) Social-Studies 

4. Comprehension Texts and 

5. News papers. 

Teachers were expec- 
ted to read the special 
notes to the teachers' 
guide which gave sug- 
gestions of ways of 
conducting reading 
exercises, developing 
interest in reading and 
achieving comprehen- 
sion. Emphasis was 
placed on silent rea- 
ding for speed and 
better comprehension. 
The process used by 
the teachers was ex- 
pected to ensure that 
pupils' comprehen- 
sion reflected not only 
knowledge of facts 
but also understan- 
ding of content with 
the ability to apply 
what is gathered from 
the content to other si- 

Pupils were tested in 
oral reading and 
silent reading with 
accompanying con- 
prehension que- 
stions. Extensive 
reading was encou- 
raged and spot 
testing of pupils' 
comprehension of 
the supplementary 
readers covered was 
also encouraged. 
Sometimes pupils 
were asked to talk 
about a section of a 
book or story they 
had read. 

3. Writing: 

(a) Composition 

(b) Simple. Creative 

(c) Correspondence 

(d) Filling of forms 
Application for jobs. 

(e) Notetaking 

Project Teacher's Guide 
Teachers own collection of 
themes and interesting topics 
Guidelines contained in the 

course books. 

Day-by-Day Revised version. 

Teachers were expec- 
ted to encourage wri- 
ting by creating a sti- 
mulating atmosphere 
and providing the 
class with varied expe- 
riences about which 
they could write. 
Teachers were advised 
to create sensory awa- 
reness in pupils and 
help them to develop 
the language skills for 
expressing what they 
could feel, taste, 
smell, see and hear. 
Teachers were expec- 
ted to give guidelines 
and varied exercises in 
letter-writing and 
form Riling. 
Practices in note 
taking were given 
during class debates 
and class projects: for 
example, visits to in- 
teresting places were 
carefully described 
and documented. 

Pupils were given 
topics to write about 
and these were as- 
sessed through spe- 
cific language skills 

Correct grammar. 
Correct punctuation 

Correct capitaliza- 

Appropriate idio- 
matic expressions. 
Correct spelling. 
Good paragraphing 
Good ideas presen- 
ted systematically. 
Correct sentence 
Creative use of lan- 




Problems Encountered on the Project 

General School Administration 

(a) A llocation of Special Duties 

As soon as the Project started, it became obvious that special duties would need to 
be assigned in order to avert or minimize the problems which were beginning to oc- 
cur. In every way, the school was seen as a normal state-controlled school. However, 
the Project brought with it many new dimensions of learning and teaching which 
called for close monitoring. 

Special duties were therefore assigned to Project supervisors and the headmaster 
of the school. The supervisors were charged with the responsibility of ensuring that 
the curriculum contents were properly taught and that all required materials were 
provided. The headmaster was to ensure that the teachers attended their classes 
regularly and covered their teaching periods fully. He was to ensure the security of 
the teachers' and pupils' texts, teaching aids and the new school library. He was to 
check and ensure the adequate and correct preparation of the teachers' notes and 
report lapses to the Project organizers. This was particularly necessary with the 
notes of lessons which were to be prepared in Yoruba Language. The headmaster 
himself was trained to prepare lesson notes in Yoruba and to assist the teachers who 
had difficulty. 

(b) Problem with Admission and Allocation of Pupils to Classes 

On the first day of the school year in January, 1970, when pupil's were being assign- 
ed to classes, some parents were most apprehensive about their children being part 
of the experiment. Two parents categorically stated that they did not want their 
children in the experimental class where Yoruba was going to be the medium of in- 
struction for six years, and they moved their children to another school. 

The fear of the parents was based on the erroneous idea that English was not 
going to be part of the Project curriculum. But by the end of that school year 


1 CO 

however, the situation had changed. Since English was taught, and more efficiently 
to the experimental group, the pupils' performance convinced the unbelieving 
parents about the value of the Project. 

During the registration exercises in October 1970, for the school year beginning 
January, 1971, the headmaster and teachers had a most difficult task keeping 
children away from the Project school after all the vacancies had been filled. Parents 
abandoned their communities and the schools where they should rightfully have 
registered their children and travelled quite some distance to register their children at 
the Project school. Each parent in turn preferred the experimental class. 

As many pupils as could be accommodated were registered and an additional three arms 
of forty pupils each were created in primary one that year. As a last resort, parents were 
still willing to have their children in the non-Project classes because they felt that having 
their children in St. Stephens School 'A' would be an advantage as there was bound to be 
some spill-over of method, content and materials. 

There was indeed a 'Hawthorn effect' of the Project on the entire Modakeke Communi- 
ty. This occurred to the extent that the elders of the neighbouring Ife Community sent a 
delegation to the University requesting that the Project be extended to the Ife local com- 
munity. Unfortunately, because of the design of the Project as a research study, the re- 
quest could not be granted and that caused some measure of resentment. The headmaster 
had to devise a quota system which accommodated some of the children from the neigh- 
bouring Ife community and that seemed to effect a settlement. At a later date, the Project 
was extended to Ife community. 

The initial design of the Project was that the children to be admitted for the experiment 
would be from the socio-economic background of the school environment. When the new 
dimension of broadening the catchment area was introduced, the school authorities and 
the Project organizers had to screen pupils for admission so as to maintain the socio- 
economic level for which the Project was designed. 

(c) Problem of Non Admission of Pupils into the Experimental Classes Other 
Than Primary One. 

The Project design allowed for an intake of two arms of experimental classes (A and 
B) containing forty pupils each and one cor*rol class (c) also containing forty pupils. 
The rational was that since the experimental group could not have new intake 
midstream, it was necessary to ensure that at least forty pupils out of the initial 
eighty would get to the end of the six years of the Project, that is, allowing for 
dropouts. The control class was allowed to admit pupils at any time of the year in 
keeping with the Government language Policy. 

However, after the first year, the control class began to experience the following 

(i) with the population explosion in the school, parents began to press for 
their children to get into the control class if not the experimental class; 


(ii) the retention of failures in the control class increased the number of 
pupils in the class; 

(iii) the Project insisted on a maximum of forty pupils in the class, but the ex- 
plosion resulted in a class size of forty-five to fifty pupils in each of the 
additional three classes which were non Project classes. 

This situation created a bit of stress among the teachers in the school. It was even- 
tually resolved that all classes in St. Stephens School 'A' would not exceed a total of 
forty-five pupils per class at the time of registration. The experimental classes pro- 
gressively got depleted until the two arms got merged into one, at the primary five 

Before the end of the first year, the Project organizers realized that if only one set 
of pupils were carried through to primary six, there would be a big problem of 
validation. A decision was therefore taken to continue a yearly intake until the end 
of six years. This meant that at the end of that period,the school would have had six 
full units of Project pupils. This decision gave the Project organizers a unique 
opportunity for thorough evaluation exercises. 

(d) Storage of Teaching and Learning Materials 

As explained earlier, the headmaster was charged with the duty of keeping safe, all 
the teaching aids as well as textbooks for teachers and pupils. This was not an easy 
task because security arrangements in the local schools were very poor. Cupboards 
were built and an inventory was taken of all the materials. Somehow, materials still 
got stolen or were borrowed and not returned. Several replacements were made and 
this became an expensive proposition. Both class and school libraries were establish- 
ed and the headmaster had to work hard to keep the books circulating under strict 
surveillance. One of the problems encountered with the loaning and non-return of 
books was compounded by the pupils and teachers of the additional classes created. 
They would surreptitiously borrow the Projects specially designed texts and would 
not return them. The result was of course reflected positively in the performance of 
the pupils; but since this situation was not initially anticipated, the additional cost of 
replacing materials resulted in a financial strain to the Project. 

(e) Problems Relating to Pupils 

CO The First Set of Pupils — were behind in the schemes of work in all the subject 
areas. This was due to the fact that the initial development and production of the 
curriculum materials began with them instead of before them. They constituted the 
trial group as well as the lead-in group for all the subsequent groups. Instructional 
materials were used and modified, then returned to the classroom for further trial. 
The immense insight gained by the Project through working with this first group 
helped in the process of refining the materials and methods of instruction for all the 
subsequent groups. 



The Project was rather concerned about this first group of pupils because they 
became a 'Lead-in group' in more than one respect. Apart from being the pioneers 
of the new curriculum materials, they were also caught by the change of school year. 
In 1973, when they were in their fourth year of schooling, the school calendar was 
changed by the Federal Government from January/December school year to the 
September/July school year. This meant that in that transitional year of primary 
four, they lost six months of routine school learning. 

The Project tried to make up the time with extra lessons during the long vacation 
period. Efforts were made to cover the syllabus and to instil some confidence in the 
pupils who were beginning to exhibit symptoms of stress due to the change. While 
teachers could be given financial inducement and other types of compensation for 
working the extra hours, the pupils could only be motivated to work harder. This 
could take the form of providing a happy and pleasant environment which would 
encourage participation in learning activities designed to ensure positive achieve- 
ment. The teachers co-operated fully on this. Because of the various problems this 
Lead-in group had, the evaluation of their achievements was also given special atten- 
tion. Far reaching decisions were taken on the design of the Project as a result of 
that first year experience. These are all reflected in the evaluation section of this 

(ii) Pupil Mobility: This was a problem only in the first few months, after which 
the groups settled down to enjoy the special attention they received on the Project. 
This attention ranged from the ample provision of learning materials for them, to 
the long fruitful hours their teachers spent with them. As explained earlier, class 
population was kept to a maximum of forty pupils per class. However, at the end of 
the second year, a policy decision had to be taken about the retention of failures in a 
class particularly in the control classes. The maximum was pegged at five. It was 
decided that pupils should be assisted to achieve through the process .of formative 
evaluation. Teachers were therefore trained in these processes during the workshop 

(0 Problems Relating To Staff 

0) Staff Mobility: This also constituted a problem at the beginning of the Project. 
Appeals were made to the State Ministry of Education to waive the practice of the 
frequent transfer of teachers to enable the Project teachers remain on the Project to 
the end. The government was also requested to consider the Project as a special duty 
for the teachers since it was a longitudinal study for the improvement of education. 

As a result of the global approval for the retention of staff at the Project Schools, 
including the staff at the proliferation Schools which began three years after the 
pilot Project, and covered ten other schools in five different towns and villages, 
these teachers were considered as being on duty post. This enabled them to enjoy 
duty-post financial benefits on the Project. In a few cases where the government 
refused to grant the duty post concession, the Project found ways of compensating 
such teachers from its own resources. 


(ii) Teachers' Performance And Evaluation: As a result of the various innovative 
processes introduced on the Project, many extra demands were made on the 
teacher's time, energy and expertise. Below is a list of some of these demands: 

1 . active participation at writing and evaluation workshops; 

2. correct interpretation of the schemes of work and the newly 
developed texts; 

3 . effective presentation of lessons, to promote mastery learning; 

4. production of a variety of visual aids in large numbers; 

5. constructive utilization of free periods created by specialist 

6. regular keeping of a detailed class log book, reflecting all findings 
on pupil/teacher and pupil/pupil interactions on the newly 
developed curriculum texts; 

7. good reception of Project Supervisors' critique with objective 
adaptation of the suggestions offered for the improvement of 
teaching methods; 

8. study of resource materials and books for self improvement; 

9. working with other Project teachers in pairs or groups, where 
necessary, to promote learning achievement; 

10. consulting with parents of the pupils and with other resource persons in 
the community to collect first hand information about units of social and 
cultural studies and science whenever the need arose. 

Though the teachers were enthusiastic about the Project, there were quite often 
lapses in their performances. The Project supervisors were assigned to sit in during 
some of the lessons to assist the teachers when they had problems with the texts. 
Some of the teachers felt that they were being treated like students on practice 
teaching and sometimes resented the intervention. Though these occurrences were 
few and far between, the Project authorities soon worked out a way by which super- 
visors could assist positively without undue disruption of the class work. 

The use of free time by teachers caused a little problem at the beginning of the 
Project. Teachers tended to see it as a time to attend to personal business, but they 
were gradually trained and encouraged to utilize the period for preparing the much 
needed visual aids for their lessons. They were encouraged tp prepare their aids in 
pairs and groups while exchanging ideas as they worked. Furthermore, the sharing 
of materials worked out to be economical. 

The teachers were taught to keep log books of interactions in class. They were to 
record the amount of content covered within a given period, the materials used as 
supportive teaching aids, and the degree of verbal interactions during the lessons. 
The problems encountered by either the pupils or the teacher were also to be record- 
ed. Some teachers undertook this task conscientiously to the end while some ex- 
hibited lapses here and there. Those among them who worked systematically were 



very helpful during the feedback sessions of the writing workshop. When the lapses 
got too many, the Project supervisors devised corrective measures to prevent such 

The keeping of the log book was also used as a method of evaluating the teacher's 
performance. The supervisors' rating was another. Pupil's assessment and the head- 
masters' report of teachers' performance were also part of the measures used for 
evaluating the teachers on the Project. Whenever any one of these reports was 
negative, the teacher concerned was usually summoned for discussion and counsell- 
ing. Where the teacher did not show signs of change, his immediate transfer was 
made to another school, 
(g) Problems Encountered With The Ministry 

The problems encountered with the Ministry of Education were rather minimal 
when compared with the assistance received from it. The degree of assistance or 
rebuff given, varied over the years, depending on the convictions of the most senior 
officials of the Ministry at any given time. The first problem was that of the 
Ministry's scepticism over the viability of the Experiment. Though permission was 
granted to the University for the Project to commence, reactions to the Experiment 
were very lukewarm for the first three years. This meant also that comments 
sometimes made by some of the top officials of the Ministry were often negative and 
at best non-committal. At the insistence of the Project team, the Ministry of Educa- 
tion of the Western State finally sent a Panel of three Senior Inspectors of Education 
to visit and submit a report on the Project. It was a thorough inspection of 
classroom teaching, physical facilities, curriculum content, library facilities and 
other Project components. The report was very favourable to the Project and that 
started a chain of positive events. 

Joint evaluation workshops were held for the Project organizers and the Ministry 
officials for the benefit of the Project and tests were designed for the pupils. Arran- 
gements were made for both internal and external school leaving certificate tests for 
the Project pupils. In addition, the Western State Ministry of Education assisted the 
Project by approving ten additional schools for the expansion of the Project for pro- 
liferation purposes, and for ensuring that the Project teachers were not transferred 
to other schools and their duty-post payments were made to them by virtue of their 
special assignment in the Project schools. 

Again, the Ministry came to the rescue of the Project when some members of the 
public and some national daily newspapers attacked the Project and accused the 
Project organizers of introducing a new system of education to the State 'by the 
back-door'. The Ministry issued an official release categorically defending the ef- 
ficacy of the experiment with considerable interest. Some members of the Ministry 
were also given permission to participate in the regular summer writing workshops. 

As evaluation tests were conducted and the results of the pupils' achievement were 
released to the Ministry, it became more obvious to the officials that the Experiment 


was successful. The creation of additional states in 1976 led to a re-appraisal of the 
introduction of a language policy in primary education. At that point in time, the 
country had been divided into twelve States and the old former Western State had 
become Oyo, Ogun and Ondo States. Our interactions continued to be with the old 
Ministry of Education that the Project started with, but it had changed character 
and many of the old officials connected with the Project had been transferred to 
their various states of origin. The Project therefore stayed largely within Oyo State. 

In spite of the problems encountered in the various phases of the Experiment, the 
Project continued to attract both national and international attention, and its for- 
tune remained high because of its innovativeness. 






\ C.7 



I. Introduction 

In order to understand the role which evaluation played in the Six- Year Primary 
Project, it is important to highlight again the evolutionary nature of the Project 
and the various modifications in its conception and implementation over time. 

Initially, it was conceived as a research Project which would span 1 1 years — Six 
years of primary school and five years of secondary. A class of 30 to 40 Yoruba chil- 
dren was to be adopted in a given primary school in Ife, and taught in Yoruba 
throughout primary school years. English was to be taught as a second language. All 
the children were then to be admitted into the same secondary school in Ife, given an 
intensive course in English in the first year and then allowed to complete 5 years of 
secondary school normally. These children were then to be compared with other 
children in terms of Cognitive and Affective achievements, in order to test three 

1 . that the experimental children will not be worse academically than the 
children who follow the conventional route; 

2. that knowledge and performance in English Language of experimental 
children will not be worse than those of children who follow the conven- 
tional route; 

3 that the experimental children will be better adjusted, more relaxed, mo- 
re enterprising and more resourceful than the children who follow the 
conventional route. 

In the first place, the organizers and sponsors of the Project would have had to wait 
1 1 years to get any clear evidence of the effectiveness of the Project. Secondly, the 
"Control" group would have been very unwieldy-being all the secondary school 
pupils in Nigeria who went through the conventional route. 

Thirdly, problems of drop out are such that by the end of the eleven years, the 
number of surviving experimental children might be so small that no meaningful 
comparisons can be made. 



Be that as it may, one feature of this research design strongly influenced the initial 
evaluation design. The first six years were in fact to be devoted to material develop- 
ment and instruction rather than to an experiment in the scientific research sense. 
The first evaluation design was therefore one geared to curriculum development. It 
was based on Stake's 1 ATO model with emphasis on formative evaluation and mo- 
nitoring of antecedents, transactions and outcomes of the Project. 

Two modifications were introduced into the Project almost as soon as it started. 
In the first place, the research design was made more truly experimental by the In- 
troduction of a control group right from the beginning. Thus, the three arms of Pri- 
mary 1 in St. Stephen's School 'A' Modakeke were selected for the Project. Two 
arms (A & B) were designated experimental classes and one (C) was designated con- 
trol. It thus became feasible to test the hypotheses right in the primary school. 

The second modification came as a result of the discovery that there were gross 
deficiencies in the existing curricula and materials in primary schools. It became cle- 
ar that the experiment could not simply depend on a translation of existing curricula 
materials into Yoruba and using them for instruction. For the Project to be mean- 
ingful, new curricula as well as new instructional materials had to be developed. 

The implication of these two modifications was that two facets of the Project 
which had initially been planned to run consecutively now had to run concurrently 

1 . Curriculum Development and Instruction 

2. Hypothesis Testing. 

In addition, the curriculum development facet became much more demanding 
than originally envisaged. 

The hypothesis testing facet inevitably suffered at this stage because the materials 
for instruction were not yet ready and the experimental classes as well as control 
class could not be said to be having the true treatments yet. 

Nevertheless, the original evaluation design was supplemented with a hypothesis 
testing design involving administration of achievement tests at yearly intervals to 
Project children and using the t-test to test if there were any significant differences 
in the achievement of experimental and control groups. 

In the first three years of the Project, the thrust of evaluation activities was still 
largely formative. Evaluation Reports 1 and 2 were geared towards helping to im- 
prove the curriculum and instruction processes as well as the research design and im- 
plementation. In Evaluation Report no 1 of 1972 for example, it was recommended 
that testing for differences in achievement should in fact begin at the end of the third 
year for each generation. Several recommendations were also made in respect of the 
implementation of the Project, such as: 

1. 12. Stake 


1. The need to develop curriculum materials for both experimental and 
control classes which would be equivalent in content. 

2. The need to ensure that control as well as experimental classes are equal- 
ly adequately staffed. 

3. The need to adopt a different policy with respect to repeats rather than 
simply dumping them into control classes. 

4. The need to train curriculum writers in evaluation techniques so as to 
improve the quality of the curricula they produce and help them to con- 
struct appropriate achievement tests. 

In addition, some baseline data on the intellectual ability of the Project children 
and the characteristics of the Project teachers were collected. 

An interesting dimension was introduced when the Western State Ministry of 
Education came to take a keen look at the Project. Naturally, they were intei ested in 
the evaluation and research components. From the Ministry point of view, the cru- 
cial test of the success or otherwise of the experiment should be the performance of 
the experimental children in 

(a) the common entrance examination to secondary schools; and 

(b) the first school leaving certificate examination. 

The evaluators felt that these were not the crucial criteria from the research point of 
view especially since the Project had worked out new curricula for the children 
which differed from those used for the first school leaving certificate examinations. 

Nevertheless, the evaluators also recognized that, like the Ministry, these criteria 
are most likely to be the ones that parents and the society at large would use for jud- 
ging the Project. Therefore, it was decided that data on these two examinations 
would be collected as part of the evaluation exercise. 

In 1973, the Project was extended to ten schools which came to be known as proli- 
feration schools; eight were designated experimental and two control. In addition, it 
was decided to add to the research deign a second kind of control group, namely 
schools which were using the traditional curriculum and materials. 

Unlike in the pilot school, the proliferation schools did not use specialist teachers 
for teaching English. Also by the time the Project spread to 'proliferation' schools, 
the curriculum materials were ready and the real hypothesis testing could begin. 
Thus, a series of annual achievement tests were administered from 1976 when the 
foundation set of proliferation schools were in Primary 3 and to 1979 when they 
were in Primary 5. The 1976 tests thus provided baseline measures against which 
subsequent developments in achievement could be measured. 

Preliminary Testing in Pilot Schools. 

In spite of the incompleteness of the curriculum materials, some preliminary indica- 
tion of effectiveness of the medium of instruction was sought by testing the second 

generation of Project children (those who started in 1971) in Primaries 3 and 4 (1973 
& 74) in English Mathematics. The results arc shown in table 11. 



Table 1 1 

Comparison of performances of the second generation Project 
children in St. Stephen's School Modakeke. 

Treatment Group 








Exp. After 
Grade II 



Primary 3 

Primary 4 

Primary 3 Prima 

ry 4 





X S.D 



Experimental A 

A + B 


Od. 11 

28 yrs 
11 yrs 
28 yrs 
28 yrs 

12 years 
5 years 

18 years 











153.5 25.8 
99.0 29.9 









1 r,2 

The data indicates that the experimental and control groups are equal in intellec- 
tual ability. 

The teachers are matched in teaching qualification but the Control teacher has a 
clear edge in teaching experience after Grade II. 

The Control teacher also scores higher in the reading score suggesting that her in- 
tellectual ability is higher than those of the experimental teachers. 

There was no significant difference between experimental and control groups in 
Primary 3 in Mathematics but the experimental group is significantly better in Pri- 
mary 4. 

The experimental group is significantly better than the control group in English in 
Primary 3 as well as Primary 4. 

These results, considering that the control class seemed to have had a higher cali- 
bre teacher than the experimental class, suggested that the children taught in their 
mother tongue (Yoruba) are likely in the long run to record a significantly higher le- 
vel of achievement than the control children. 

It remained for the more comprehensive testing at the proliferation schools to 
confirm or disprove this suggestion. 

Additional Hypotheses. 

In addition to the three original hypotheses, it was possible to test two others at the 
proliferation stage, namely: 

4. that the use of specialist teachers of English has no significant effect on 
the achievement of pupils in English, 

5. that the new curriculum developed by the Project is more effective than 
the traditional curriculum in the achievement of the aims of primary 

II. Research and Evaluation Designs 

For convenience, this section is treated under four sub-headings A, B, C, and D. 
This is in recognition of the complexity of the Project and its development nature. 
With respect to the curriculum development facet of the Project and the develop- 
ment aspect of the research facet, the evaluation design was formative in nature. 
For testing hypotheses 1, 2, 4, and 5, an experimental research design was used. For 
the testing of hypothesis 3 (Affective outcomes), an ex-post-facto design was used. 
The ex-post-facto design was also used in looking at the criteria of success as percei- 
ved by the Ministry of Education namely performances in the first school leaving cer- 
tificate and common entrance examinations. 
The four designs are treated in detail in the following sections. 


1 r 
J I J 

A. Design for formative evaluation 

Formative evaluation is meant to help an educational programme, be it curriculum 
development, instruction or research, or operate at optimum level. It aims at monito- 
ring the progress of the programme with a view to ensuring: 

(1) that plans are carried out faithfully and on schedule, 

(2) that difficulties in the operation are diagnosed early and corrective 
measures taken; 

(3) keeping track of unplanned outcomes, and 

(4) giving continuous, systematic feed-back to Project organizers and func- 
tionaries to help them take informed decisions on the operation of the 

The Stake model which was used identifies three major elements to be monitored 
as shown in Table 12. 

Table 12 

Framework for formative evaluation 




!. Antecedents 

Quality of Staff 

— Qualification 

— Experience 

— Intellectual Ability 
Characteristics of 


— Intellectual ability 

Learning environment 

— Teacher Allocation 

— Administration 

— Resources for Lear- 

Reading Test 

Test M, Progressive 


II. Transactions 

1 . Instructional Materials 

— Content and nature 

— Development strate- 


1. Instructional Techniques 

— Medium of Instruc - 


— Teacher-Class-material 


— Teacher Allocation. 

Content Analysis 






3. Supportive strategies 

— Training of Project 


— Interaction with ministry 

— Interaction with 

resource people. 

4. Intervention Strategies. 

— Interaction with Pro- 
ject schools 



III. Outcomes 

1 . on Teachers 

2. on Children 

4. on Educational Policy 

5. on Policy makers. 

6. on Project organizers and 


7. on Publishers. 

Observation, inter- 

Anecdotal Records. 

Data collection on Antecedents took place at the beginning of the project. 
Monitoring of Transactions and Outcomes continued at intervals all through the 
life of the Project. 

Findings were fed back to Project organizers through periodic evaluation reports, 
discussions and other correspondence. 

B. Longitudinal Study of Cognitive Achievement 

(Hypotheses Testing) 

The Sample 

There were five groups of primary school pupils included in the longitudinal study 
of cognitive achievement. The five groups included: 

(1) St. Stephen's Experimental (SSE) 

(2) St. Stephen's Control (SSC) 

(3) Proliferation Experimental (PE) 

(4) Proliferation Control (PC) 

(5) Traditional Control (TQ 



The groups are described below. 

(1) St. Stephen's Experimental (SSE): This group started with 62 pupils 
comprising 32 pupils from class A and 30 pupils from class B of St. Ste- 
phen's 'A' School in Ile-Ife. The pupils used the new syllabus materials 
developed for the Six-Year-Yoruba Primary Project for the teaching of 
English, Yoruba, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science; and in addi- 
tion, they were taught the English Language by a specialist teacher of 
English. This group used Yoruba as the medium of instruction from Pri- 
mary one (PI) to Primary six (P6), a period of six years. Only 55 pupils 
continued to the end of their primary education in this group of 62. 

(2) St. Stephen 's Control (SSC): SSC is made up of 27 pupils from class C 
of St. Stephen's 'A' School in Ile-Ife. The pupils followed the same pro- 
gramme as pupils in SSE except for the fact that they were taught Eng- 
lish by their ordinary classroom teacher who was not a specialist English 
Language teacher. This group used Yoruba as the medium of instruc- 
tion for PI through P3 but switched to English as the medium of in- 
struction for P4 and they continued using English in P5 and P6. 

(3) Proliferation Experimental (PE): One hundred and forty four (144) 
pupils from two rural and two urban primary schools started with this 
group. The urban schools were U.M.C. Demonstration School in 
Ibadan (37 pupils from both classes B and D) and Baptist*Demonstra- 
tion School in I wo (40 pupils from classes A and B). The rural school 
was D.C. School in Elemo (26 pupils from class A). Pupils in this group 
followed the same programme as pupils in group SSE but did not have a 
specialist teacher of English. Like group SSE, this group used Yoruba as 
the medium of instruction through their Six Years of Primary educa- 

(4) Proliferation Control (PC): PC was made up of pupils from two pri- 
mary schools, one urban and one rural. The urban school was St. 
Andrew's Demonstration School in Oyo with 46 pupils while the rural 
school was Oke-Omi School in Osu with 48 pupils from both classes A 
and B. The PC group also made use of the new curriculum materials but 
did not have a specialist English teacher. Like group SSC, this group 
used English as the medium of instruction from P4 through P6. 

(5) Traditional Control (TC): The group started with 1 12 pupils from two 
primary schools that followed the usual curriculum of primary schools 
in the State. The urban school was St. Luke's Demonstration School in 
Ibadan (35 pupils from class A, 33 pupils from class C). The rural 
school was St. Luke's School Lalupon which had 44 pupils at the begin- 
ning of the study but only 25 pupils were left in the final year (P6). Pu- 
pils in this group had not used any of the new curriculum materials 



developed for the Project and did not have a specialist English teacher. 
Like groups SSC and PC, this group used Yoruba as the medium of in- 
struction from PI through P3 but switched to English as the medium of 
instruction for P4, P5 and P6 


The treatments given to the various groups have been highlighted under sample 
above but the table below is a summary of such treatments. 

Table 13: 

The School Programme Variables Affecting the 
five treatment groups 


Medium of 

Content of 
School Subject 



St. Stephen's 

Yoruba b 
from PI to 




St. Stephen's 

English from P4 
to P6 but Yoruba 
from PI to P3. 





Yoruba b from PI 
to P6. 





English' from P4 
to P6 but Yoruba 
from PI to P3. 





English' from P4 
to P6 but Yoruba 
from PI toP3 




a except English materials 
b except English materials 
c except Yoruba language class. 

From the table, it is clear that only group SSE made use of a specialist English tea- 
cher. The teacher was a specialist in that he was given extra training besides the tea- 
chers grade two certificate training in the teaching of the English language. The spe- 
cialist teacher gave instruction to the group for the entire 6 years of their primary 




Three major instruments were used for the evaluation exercises for the four years: 
Intelligence Tests, Achievement Tests and Demographic data form. 

(1) Intelligence Tests: During P3, Test M was administered to the pupils. 
Test M was designed to measure non verbal intelligence and did not in- 
volved the use of language at all. Test M was made up of 35 multiple 
choice items with six choices per item preceded by three examples. 

At the end of P4, the Revens Progressive Matrices, a non-verbal cul- 
ture free paper and pencil multiple choice answer test was administered 
to the pupils. There were five sets of the test but only the first three sets 
(sets A, B and C) were administered. A pretest exercise revealed that the 
pupils could not go beyond set C. The pupils were given 40 minutes 

There were no intelligence tests administered to the pupils at P5 and P6. 

(2) Achievement Tests: Since the purpose of this evaluation was to inve- 
stigate the language and academic achievement of the groups, tests in 
English Language, Yoruba Language, Mathematics, Social and Cultural 
Studies, and Science were developed at the end of each year. Because of 
the syllabi of the Project groups, there was a need to construct two types 
of tests for each of these subjects. As a result, there were tests based on 
the common contents of the syllabi and others based on the new con- 
tents of the syllabi designed for the Project classes. In effect, there were 
two tests for each of Mathematics, Social & Cultural Studies and Scien- 
ce during the testing period of each year. Since English and Yoruba Lan- 
guage syllabi were the same for all of the groups, there was no need to 
have two tests for them. Also, due to the fact that during P4 through to 
P6, the medium of instruction for the Project classes was Yoruba for all 
school subjects except English while English was used as the medium of 
instruction for the control classes for all school subjects except Yoruba, 
both Yoruba and English versions of the tests of Social and Cultural 
Studies, Science and Mathematics were developed. The Yoruba versions 
were administered to all but a few randomly selected pupils in the Pro- 
ject classes who were administered the English versions and the English 
versions were always administered to all but a few randomly selected 
pupils in the control classes. 

The construction of test materials usually involved three stages: 

(i) The Workshop: 

A workshop was always conducted for three days before the examina- 
tions period each year in the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Teachers 


1 *" O 

J :>0 

of the various treatment groups, (SSE, SSC, PE, PC, and TC) were 
always represented and subject area specialists were invited to such works- 
hops. The specialists included lecturers of universities, and teachers of 
teacher training colleges who had experience in curriculum development 
for primary schools. The members of the workshops were grouped into 
subject areas headed by the specialists. Each group would prepare a 
pool of questions in the subject areas which were earlier mentioned. 

In preparing the questions, the two syllabi would be studied and com- 
mon areas were usually selected in Mathematics, Social Studies, and 
Science. The questions were numerous and they covered as many topics 
as possible in each of the subjects. 

( ii) Preliminary Selection of Test Items 

Subjects specialists who were from neutral grounds (universities and te- 
acher training colleges) were engaged to compile the questions and select 
possible items for the examinations. It was quite impossible to complete 
this job in a three-day workshop. The selected items were usually prete- 
sted in neutral grounds for each subject. 

(Hi) Pretesting and Final Selection of Test Items 

A neutral ground was always selected for pretesting. The pretest activity 
took place in towns like Ogbomoso and Osogbo. The schools in these 
towns were typical traditional schools with two classes of primary four. 
The class teachers were holders of Teachers grade II certificate. All of 
the papers were usually administered to the pupils and used to be super- 
vised by the investigator and the class teacher. 
The purposes of the pretest were to: 

(a) be able to debug areas of mistakes, 

(b) be able to determine if the time allotted to each of the papers was 
adequate enough, 

(c) be able to determine the appropriate sets to be used out of the 
available five sets of Raven's Progressive Matrices test in P4, and 

(d) be able to rationalize about the degree of reliability of each of the 
items in the questions. This last purpose turned out to be a diffi- 
cult job. 

With the above procedure, the question papers were usually made up of: 
(a) English Language, containing: 

Spelling, Word Recognition, Listening, Comprehension, Word- 
picture Matching, Morphology, Cloze test, Word Understanding, 
Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Composition. 



(b) Yoruba Language, made up of: 
Word Pronunciation, Oral Reading, Greetings, Accents, Word 
Arrangement, Oral Comprehension, Idioms, Similies, Proverbs, 
Use of Words in Sentences, Antonyms, Concept- Word Differen- 
tiation, Sounds, Silent Reading Comprehension, Sentence Arran- 
gement, Passage Arrangement, Sentence Completion, Composi- 
tion, Letter Writing, and Cloze Test. 

(c) Social and Cultural Studies Test: (Yoruba and English Versions) 

— New Syllabus Test 

— Common Content Test 


— New Syllabus Test (Yoruba Version) 

— Common Content Test (Yoruba and English Versions). 

Mathematics (Yoruba and English Versions) in 

— New Syllabus Test 

— Common Content Test 
For a detailed description of each of these tests and the subtests, see 
Ojerinde and Cziko(1977 & 1978) and Ojerinde (1979 & 1983). 

(3) Demographic Data Form: 

A form was designed to collect background information in respect of 
each pupil. In the form, the following information was required to be 

1. Name 

2. Age 

3. Sex 

4. Religion 

5. Mother's tongue 

6. Father's Education 

7. Father's Occupation 

8. Mother's Education 

9. Mother's Occupation 

10. Number of wives in the family 

1 1 . Total number of siblings. 

Data Collection Procedure 

The actual data collection involved the following three stages: 




(i) Training of Examiners: Thirty university undergraduate students of 
the Faculty of Education whose areas of discipline ranged from Mathe- 
matices, Physics, Chemistry, Biology to English, Yoruba, Geography 
and History were employed and trained as examiners. All of them could 
read and write Yoruba Language adequately. 

The examiners were briefed on how to conduct examinations general- 
ly; the need to create rapport between them and the pupils, the extent to 
which the examiners could explain any question to the examiners, and 
the need to go round the classroom at intervals were stressed. They were 
usually shown possible areas of problems, based on the personal expe- 
rience of the investigator during the pretesting period. The thirty of 
them were usually used except on a few occasions when substitutes were 
made during the P5 and P6 testing periods. 

(ii) Administration of Tests: The papers which had both Yoruba and Eng- 
lish versions were distributed in a specific way. In schools where the ma- 
jor medium of instruction was English, the 'English' version of the 
question papers was inserted between the other papers distributed ran- 
domly to at least five pupils in the class. The class teachers were allowed 
to take part in the distribution of the question papers, to aid in the crea- 
tion of a generally comfortable atmosphere for the pupils and were con- 
sulted when any problems arose. 

The general pattern of examination period in each school was follo- 
wed as much as possible by the examiners. The pupils usually sat in the 
same hall in the presence of their class teachers. There were no reports 
from either the class teachers or the examiners that the teachers or the 
examiners did not co-operate throughout the two weeks of the testing 
period for each year. 

(iii) Grading the Tests: At the end of the administration, the examiners 
would return to the university campus and settle in a hall for central gra- 
ding. The examiners were distributed into six separate groups each of 
which graded one subject (i.e. English, Yoruba, Mathematics, Social 
and Cultural Studies, Science). 

Before the papers were graded, four dummy copies of the pretest 
scripts would be given to each examiner in their respective groups. Using 
the marking scheme, the examiners were asked to grade the dummy pa- 
pers for practice purpose. The scores which were got for this exercise 
would be compared with the new scores item by item. In most cases, the 
scores were the same. In cases where there were differences (although 
very few) especially in the Yoruba and English language essays, the ne- 



cessary reviews would be made and there used to be general agreement 
in the scoring pattern. 

For each group, there was always a leader selected by the group mem- 
bers. The leader was to counter-check the grades after each examiner 
had finished the paper. The papers would be passed to the investigator 
for further scrutiny. Generally, there were few errors in the essay que- 
stions initially. Since most of the papers were objective in nature, there 
were few mistakes. Grading was usually done in two sessions everyday, 
8.30 a.m. to 12.00 noon and 1.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. over a period of two 
weeks, for each year. 

Since the tests also served as promotion examinations for the schools 
involved, the raw scores were usually sent to the schools where school 
personnel determined the passing mark for each school subject. 

Demographic Data Form 

The demographic data form was completed only once when the pupils were in P3 in 
1976. The information from the form was only used in P4. 

Analyses Procedures 

The analysis of variance, after factor analysis of the tests, was used to analyze the 
test in P3 while the analysis of covariance was the principal statistical procedure 
used to analyze the results of the tests administered to the pupils in the five treat- 
ment groups included in the evaluation in P4 through P6. The analysis of covariance 
is similar to the analysis of variance used to analyze the results of the June 1976 eva- 
luation except that the analysis of covariance permits the researcher to statistically 
control the effect of potentially confounding variables, i.e. factors other than those 
being investigated that otherwise might affect the scores of pupils in the evaluation. 
For our purposes, the potentially confounding variable was socio-economic status 

(SES) which was statistically controlled by using four measures (father's occupa- 
tion, father's education, mother's occupation and mother's education), as 'covaria- 
tes' in the analysis of covariance with either class, treatment group, or a combina- 
tion of treatment group and school setting as independent variables, i.e. factors 
used to explain any significant differences in test scores among the different groups 
of pupils. It should be noted that when naturally occurring groups are studied, there 
is no way to experimentally control for variables such as SES. We may statistically 
control for such potentially confounding variables, however, by noting the rela- 
tionship between SES and a particular dependent variable (test score) for all groups 
and then 'adjusting' the score for each pupil. For example, it is found that there is a 
strong positive relationship between SES and performance on a test (i.e. pupils of 
high SES score higher than the pupils of low SES, regardless of group), a pupil of 



above average SES wi" have his test score adjusted downward, while a pupil of be- 
low average SES will have his score adjusted upward. The analysis of covariance is 
identical to the analysis of variance except for this prior adjustment of scores. If we 
then find significant differences between groups for the adjusted scores, we can then 
say that these differences exist when 'controlling for' the effect of SES (the covaria- 
te) and that differences in SES are not responsible for the group differences obser- 

Although it would have been desirable to include intelligence as an additional co- 
variate, this was not done since no measure of intelligence was administered to the 
pupils before or during PI. Although such measures were administered at P3 and 
P4, it would not be appropriate to use these as covariates since a pupil's intelligence 
may well be affected by the particular programme he is in by the time he reaches P3 
and P4. This would violate one of the primary conditions of the analysis of 
covariance-that the independent variable has no effect on the covariate. Indices of 
SES were used as covariates, however, since it is unlikely that the SES of a pupil's 
parents would be affected by the primary school programme of the pupil. 

The following statistical analyses were carried out to analyze the results of the tests:- 

1 . In P3 and P4 Factor analysis of the English and Yoruba subtests were 
performed. This was done to determine whether it would be appropriate 
to create English and Yoruba composite scores out of the test scores. In 
P5 and P6 factor analysis was not performed since the P3 and P4 expe- 
rience showed that there was no need. 

2. A one-way analysis of covariance on the test results of four classes re- 
presented in cells 1 and 4 of Table 1 with class as a random factor and 
four indices of SES (mother's and father's education and occupation) as 
covariates. Since these represent the same treatment condition (PE clas- 
ses in an urban setting), this analysis was performed to determine if 
there is any significant teacher effect and to give some indication as to 
whether any observed differences among the different treatment groups 
revealed by the following analyses of covariance could be attributed to 
the different educational programmes being offered to the pupils or to 
teacher or other classroom characteristics. 

3. A one-way analysis of covariance of the test results of the classes repre- 
sented in cells 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of Table 4 with treatment group (SSE, 
SSC, PE, PC, AND TQ as the independent variable and the four SES 
indices as covariates. This analysis was performed to compare the ef- 
fects of all five treatment conditions in urban settings. When significant 
group effects were found, the Newman-Keuls procedure was used to in- 
vestigate differences among the five adjusted group means. 

4. A one-way analysis of covariance of the test results of classes represen- 
ted in cells, 7, 8, and 9 of Table 4 with treatment group (PE, PC and 



TQ as the independent variable. This analysis was performed as a 
follow-up to the two-way analysis of covariance described above which 
revealed significant interactions between treatment condition and 
school setting for eight of the nine test variables. The purpose of this an- 
alysis was to examine the effects of three of the treatment conditions in 
rural settings. When significant group effects were found, the Newman - 
Keuls procedure was used to investigate differences among the three ad- 
justed group means. 
5. A two-way analysis of covariance on the test results of classes represen- 
ted in cells 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 of Table 4 (below) with three treatment condi- 
tions (PE, PC, and TQ and school setting (urban and rural) as indepen- 
dent variables and the four SES indices as covariates was also perfor- 


Classes Included in the June 1977 Evaluation 

St. Stephen's 

St. Stephen's 





2. St. Stephens' 

1. UMC Demo 


2. St. Stephen's 
"A" Classes 

3. St. Stephen's 

"A" Class C 

A. Baptist Demo 



5. St. Andrew's 
Demo. Classes 

6.St. Luke's 
Demo Classes 


7. D.C. Elemo 
Calss A 

Class A&B 

9.St. Luke's 
Classes A&B 

Analysis 2, 3, and 4 described above were applied to all the classes while analysis 5 
was carried out for only P3 and P4. 

Because of the reduction in the number of candidates in most of the schools, the 
test analysis was used for the analysis of the P6 scores to test for effect of teacher va- 



C. Study of achievement in public examinations 

This was ex-post-facto study and had for sample only those of the Project children 
who took the respective public examinations. 
The involved sample is shown in Table 15. 

Table 15 

Sample of experimental and Control Children used in 
comparing achievement on public examinations 1975 
(First set of project children In Pilot school) 




1st Schooling Leaving 



Common Entrance 



The means of experimental and control groups were com- 
pared using a students t-teat. 

D. Follow-up study of Affective outcomes 

This was also an ex-post-facto study along the lines envisaged in the original Project 
design. In other words, experimental Project children in secondary schools were 
compared with their contemporaries who had passed through the conventional rou- 
te. Although 27 children were traced to their respective secondary schools. They 
were then compared with their classmates numbering 268 on two instruments desig- 
ned to test adjustment of school children. 

Instrument 1 was the Student Problem Inventory (SPI) (Bakare). Six sections of 
this instrument considered relevant were used. SPI consisted of an inventory of com- 
mon problems of school children. Each respondent was then required to tick those 
problems which apply to him or her. The total score of experimental children was 
then compared with that of the other children. 

Instrument 2 was a sociometric instrument in which all members of the classes in 
which the project children were, had to choose one person with whom they would 
like to do certain things or whom they would like to occupy certain positions. Nine 
choices were included in the instrument namely: 

1. as a leader 

2. as studymate 

3. as tripmate 



4. to discuss with 

5. to ask a favour of 

6. to accompany on an outing 

7. to share food with 

8. as a confidant 

9. to play with. 

The average number of times the experimental children were nominated for each 
role was then compared with that of non Project children. 

Ill Results 

A. Patterns of Cognitive Achievement 

This section discusses with evidence, the effectiveness or otherwise of the medium 
of instruction, the curriculum and the specialist teacher. Interested readers may re- 
fer to the evaluation reports of Ojerinde and Cziko (1976 and 1977) and the reports 
of Ojerinde (1979 and 19C3) for other details and results of the remaining analyses. 

Urban Settings 

The following tables present the results of the achievement of the five groups in dif- 
ferent subject areas for a period of four years in urban settings. 

Table 16 

1976: Primary 3 Re»ulU (Urban Schools) 


Group Means 




Test M 














Social & Cultural 






Studies - Common 









Social <& Cultural 

Studies - New 















Science - New 















Maths - Tradi- 






tional Curriculum 









Maths - New 















English - Oral 
















R Print ich X) mariina 












9. English Writing 













10. Yoruba Cloze 












1 1 . Yoruba Language 













Note: Means not underscored by the same solid line differ 

(P .05) 
•p .01 

Table 17 

1977: Primary 4 Retails (Urban Schools) 

No. Variables 

Adjusted Group Means 



1. Raven's Progres- 






sive Matrices 








2. Social and Cultu- 

ral Studies 









.. 8.3 





3. Social and Cultu- 






ral Studies New 








4. Science New 













5. Science Common 













6. Maths New 













7. Maths Common 













8. English Language 














9. Yoruba Language 














Note: Means not underscored by the same line differ 
significantly (P .05) according to the Newman - 
Keuls procedure. 

*P .01 


1 4 7 

Table 18 

1978: Primary 5 Results (Urban Schools) 

No. Variables Adjusted Group Means F df 

1. Social Science TC PC SSC PE SSE 

Syllabus 25,0 28.6 31.2 33.3 407 43.45* 4,284 

2. Social Science TC SSC PC PE SSE 

22.7 23.1 25.5 28.9 31.8 35.46* 4,283 

3. Science New TC SSC PC PE SSE 

Syllabus 22J) 2JL0 25J 30.4 33J 44.15* 4,288 

4. Science Common TC SSC PC PE SSE 

Syllabus 21J 25J ^2 3Z_8 3^6 40.90* 4,287 

5. Maths New TC PC SSC PE SSE 

Syllabus JT7 22.0 22.4 22.6 29.0 23.00* 4,288 

6. Maths Common TC PC SSC SSE PE 

Syllabus ]93 22.1 22.3 30.1 30.2 15.42* 4,288 

7. English Language SSC PC TC PE SSE 

55.4 , 58.6 59.5 64.7 76.9 11.69* 4,265 

8. Yoruba Language TC PC PE SSC SSE 

82.4 95.9 114.4 115.9 145.2 67.68* 4,263 

Tabic 19 

1979: Primary 6 Results (Urban Schools) 

No. Variables Adjusted Group Means F df 

1. Social Science TC PC SSC PE SSE 

Common 20.31 24.01 25.31 29.61 32.3 23.00* 4,205 

2. Social Studies TC SSC PC PE SSE 

New 18^1 25.63 28.91 33.71 37.83 40.45* 4,205 

3. Science Common TC SSC PC PE SSE 

13.72 24.83 29.72 29.94 36.30 27.33* 4.205 

4. Science New TC PC SSC PE SSE 

19,71 23.51 24.81 31.26 38.50 45.23* 4,205 

5. Mathematics TC PC SSC SSE PE 

Common 20.61 27.32 30.45 33.65 34.72 51.50* 4,205 

6. Mathematics TC SSC PC PE SSE 

New 16.72 25.50 28.32 34.62 38.56 44.48* 4,205 

7. Yoruba Language TC~ SSC PC - SSE PE 

53.44 62.32 64.51 67.35 69.28 30.32* 4,205 

8. English Language TC~ PC SSC PE SSE 

52.55 67.32 68.56 70.25 72.10 35.30* 4,205 

+ The underlined scores are homogeneous. 

• Significant at P .01 

N = 55 32 40 43 40 

Group = SSE, SSC, PE, PC, TC. 



The result of performance on each subject has been summarized in the following 
graphs. Where 1 = SS 

Social Studies Common Syllabus 
x x x x 
+ + + + 

1 2 2 


2 111 

1976 1977 1978 1979 Year 
P 3 P 4 Ps P 6 

Social Studies New Syllabus 

x x x x 

+ 2 + + 

1 + 2 

2 2 

1 1 1 

1976 1977 1978 1979 Year 
P 3 P* P 5 P 6 

3: Science New Syllabus 


5 x x x x 

4 + 2 + + 

3 +2 

2 2 2 

1976 1977 1978 1979 Year 
P3 P 4 P 5 P 6 


1 <; y 






4: Science Common Syllabus 


5 I 

















1976 1977 1978 1979 Year 
P 3 P 4 p 5 p 6 

5: Maths. Common Syllabus 





+ 4 




x x 








2 2 


2 1 

IV /o 


1978 1979 Year 

P 3 

P 4 

P 5 Pa 


Maths New Syllabus 





x x SSE 




+ + PE 



2 PC 




2 SSC 



1 1 TC 



1978 1979 

p 3 


P 5 P 6 

x = 


1 = 


+ = 


2 = 



i2i 150 

English Language Composite 

















1976 1977 1978 1979 Year 
p 3 ?4 P 5 P 6 

8: Yoruba Language Composite 







1976 1977 1978 1979 Year 

Graphs 1 to 8 represent the results on tables 11 to 14. The homogeneous groups 
are encircled. The ranks of each group have been used to plot the graph from class to 
class for each subject area. 

To illustrate the interpretation of the graphs, let's use Graph 8 which deals with 





In P v the five treatment groups were on different levels of achievement 
with SSE as the best group while SSC followed and Group TC had the 
lowest level of achievement. 

However, in P 4 , groups SSC. PC, PE and TC were homogeneous on the 
Yoruba language test while Group SEE achieved significantly higher 
than the remaining four groups; again SSE was the best achiever. 
By 1978, when the pupils were in P 5 , the degree of homogeneity noticed 
in P, had been decreased. In P„ SSE had the best score, and it was follo- 
wed by SSC and PE (two homogeneous groups) whereas groups PC and 
TC had significantly lower scores. 

P 6 tended to be much the same with the P 5 result. Groups SSE and PE 
achieved significantly better than the remaining three groups while 
group PC and SSC demonstrated homogeneity and significantly diffe- 
rent achievement from TC. 


Similar interpretation could be given to the remaining diagrams. A quick look at 
the diagrams reveals that the experimental groups (PE and SSE) excelled above the 
remaining groups on all the school subjects at the end of the Primary Education. 
One is therefore compelled to agree that the medium of instruction, and the new 
curriculum are effective enough. The case of the specialist English language teacher 
can be put aside, this is sequel to the fact that the groups which did not have the spe- 
cialist also performed better than the control classes all over the years. To further 
assert this claim, the rural setting is also presented in the next section. 
Rural Settings 

In the rural setting, there were no English language specialist teachers. 

The following tables also present the results of achievement of the three groups on 
different subject areas for a period of five years for the rural setting. 

Table 20 

Primar> 3 Results (Rural Schools) 



Group Means 




Test M 










Social & Cultural Studies - 











Social & Cultural Studies - 




New Curriculum 







Science - New Curriculum 










Maths. - Traditional 










Maths - New Curriculum 










English - Oral 











English - Reading 











English - Writing 











Yoruba Cloze 










Yoruba Language 










Note: Means not underscored by the same solid line differ 
•p Significantly (p.^ 05) i 



Table 21 

1977: Primary 4 Result! (Rural Schools) 

Variables Adjusted Group Means F df 

1 . Raven's Progressive Matrices 









2. Social & Cultural Studies - 










3. Social & Cultural Studies - 




New Curriculum 






4. Science New 









5. Science Common 









6. Mathematics New 









7. Mathematics Common 









8. English Language 










9. Yoruba Language 










Note: Means not underscored by the same line differ 

significantly (p .05) 
•p .01 

Table 22 

1978: Primary 5 Results (Rural Setting) 

No. Variables Group Means F df 

1. Social Science New Syllabus 









2. Social Science comm. 










3. Science New Syllabus 









4. Science Common Syllabus 









5. Maths New Syllabus 









6. Maths Comm. Syllabus 











7. English Language TC PC PE 

30.5 50.9 69.4 130.8* 2,100 

8. English Language TC PC PE 

55.4 ' 105^ 116.6 70.6* 2,107 

Note: Means not underscored by tht same solid line differ 
significantly p .01. 

Table 23 

1979: Primary 6 Remits (Rural Schools) 


No. Variables Adjusted Group Means Ratio df 

1. Social Science New TC PC PE 

16.57 28.32 33.17 27.7* 2,88 

2. Social Studies New TC PC PE 

16.83 25.86 30.03 J8.8* 2,88 

3. Science Common TC PC PE 

13.15 24.24 26.96 19.5* 2,88 

4. Science New TC PC PE 

12.24 24.25 26.26 16.9* 2,88 

5. Mathematics Common TC PC PE 

14.88 24.25 30.23 28.87* 2,88 

6. Mathematics New TC PC PE 

15.87 27.36 33.45 37.94* 2,88 

7. Yoruba Language TC PC PE 

43.90 62.31 67.82 33.91* 2,88 

8. English Language TC PC PE 

42.73 58.32 65.72 30.53* 2,88 


The results presented in the tables have been graphically demonstrated overleaf 
for each subject for the four years. 



PE + 
PC 2 
TC 1 


9: Social Studies Common Content 

















P 3 

P 4 

P 5 

P 6 

70: Social Studies New Syllabus 
















76 77 78 79 

77: Science New Syllabus 

+ + + + 
2 2 2 2 

76 77 78 79 

12: Science Common Syllabus 













76 77 



13: Maths. Common Syllabus 






















14: Maths New Syllabus 




















75. 1 English Language Composite 


















76: Yoruba Language Composite 




















Again, as demonstrated in the urban setting, the experimental group (PE) has 
come out to be the best achiever in all of the subjects toward the end of Primary 
School Education. This is a demonstration of the fact that the medium of instruc- 
tion has helped the children and that the curriculum has been effective. Once more, 
there was no SDecialist English language teacher in the rural setting yet the group 
which used the Yoruba language as a medium of instruction had come out to be the 
best achievers. 

B. Performance in Public Examinations 

Tables 24 and 25 show the performances of the first set of Project children in two 
pub! ; c examinations; 

(1) The first school leaving certificate examination and the common entran- 
ce examination respectively. 


Table 24 

A comparison of the performance of the Control and 
the Experimental groopi In the Flnt 
Scfcool Leaving Certificate Examination 1974/75 

N = 32 N = 43 











































1 . Diff = Differences between means 
•Statistically significant at .01 level. 

Table 25 

A comparison of the performance of the control 
and the experimental group* on the National 
Common Entrance Examination, 1974/75 

N = 8 N = 25 




































1. Diff. = Difference between means. 

In the first school leaving certificate examination, there was no statistically signi- 
ficant difference between the performances of experimer.ial and control children in 
Arithmetic, English, General Knowledge and Bible Knowledge. In Yoruba, howe- 
ver, Experimental children performed better than control. It would seem that the 
use of Yoruba as a medium of instruction throughout reinforced the experimental 
children's knowledge of the subject. 



In the National Common Entrance examination, there was no statistically signifi- 
cant difference between the performances of experimental and control children on 
all the four papers. 

These results, although the numbers were small tend to support hypotheses 1 
and 2. 

C. Affective outcomes. 

Table 26 shows the comparative scores of Project and non Project children on the 
students' Problem inventory (SPI). It shows that Project children report on the 
average, fewer problems than non Project children. This is consistently true in all the 
sub-sections of the inventory as well as in the total score. 

Table 26 

Comparison of Project Experimental Children with 
Non Project children in Grammar Schools on 
'Student's Problem inventory' 


Mean Scores of Project 

N = 27 

Mean Scores of Non 
Project Children. 
N = 26S 






















Table 27 shows the performances of Project children on the sociomctric instru- 
ment. Two conclusions may be drawn here. 

1. On the whole, the Project children are slightly above average in social 

2. They are notably above average in acceptability as: 

(i) leader 

(ii) study mate 

(iii) trip mate 

(iv) playmate. 


Table 27 

Social Acceptability of Project Experimental Children 
in Grammar Schools as Compared with their peers in the same Schools. 

N = 27 

Area of accepta- 

above average 


Below Average 

Mean score 
based on a scali 

i • v^noicc as icaucr 

J \lO.J fv) 

Li. \Q 1 .J"/0) 

9 1Q 

rtaaiuuy male 

1 U ^ J I VO ) 

"5 3 

3. As trip mate 

10 (37%) 

13 (48.1%) 

4 (14.8%) 


4. To discuss with 

9 (33.3%) 

11 (40.7%) 

7 (25.9%) 


5. To ask a favour of 

10 (37%) 

10 (37%) 

7 (25.9%) 


6. To accompany on an 

5 (18.5%) 

13 (48.1%) 

9 (33.3%) 


7. To share food 

10 (37%) 

" (25.9%) 

10 (37%) 


8. As confidant 

6 (22.2%) 

12 (44.4%) 

9 (33.3%) 


9. To play with 

13 (48.1%) 

6 (22.2%) 

8 (29.6%) 


Mean % 




The results from the two instruments tend to support the hypothesis 3 which deals with effec- 
tive outcomes of the project. 

IV. Monitoring of the Educational Progress 
of the Products of SYPP 


By December 1975, when the first crop of products of the Project were graduating 
from primary education level to secondary education level, there was a need felt to 
follow them up throughout their secondary education and beyond with a view to 
monitoring their academic progress vis-a-vis that of their non-Project counterparts. 

The first step toward monitoring of the academic progress of the SYPP products 
was taken in 1975 to coincide with the graduating time of the first crops of the pro- 
ducts of the Project. From the available data on the experimental subjects and mem- 
bers of the control group, one thing became very evident — that the experimental 
subjects stood in good stead when compared statistically with the control group. A 
significant proportion of them gained entry into secondary schools through compe- 
titive entrance examinations in 1975 in contrast to their counterparts in the control 



group. They all passed the first leaving certificate examination they sat for in 
November, 1975 showing significant academic superiority over their counterparts in 
subjects like Yoruba, Arithmetic, Science and Social Studies. 

Monitoring in Secondary Schools 

Due to the fact that the first set of products of the SYPP were admitted into diffe- 
rent schools in Nigeria, there was the need to limit the monitoring exercise to a few 
schools in Ile-Ife due to lack of sufficient funds and personnel to carry out a large- 
scale exercise. To monitor the products' progress in the selected secondary schools 
in Ile-Ife, the assistance of the principals of the schools concerned was sought. Their 
attention was called to the Project pupils in their schools and they were asked to re- 
port on a yearly basis the progress of the project pupils in their schools in the areas 
of school work, co-curricular activities and general behaviour. It is significant to no- 
te that with a very few exceptions, the performances of the SYPP products were ra- 
ted satisfactory and above average by most of the principals concerned with regard 
to academics, co-curricular activities and manners. 

It was not until September, 1979 when the Project had folded up the experimental 
and control primary schools used for this study that it was possible for the Institute 
of Education to deploy one of the staff of the Project on a full-time basis to collec- 
ting data from the selected secondary schools in Ile-Ife for the purpose of monito- 
ring the academic performances of the Project pupils in those secondary schools. 
Four of the schools selected in Ile-Ife for monitoring purposes were: 

1 . Our Lady's High School 

2. Urban Day School 

3 . Moremi High School 

4. Ooni Girls High School 

In all the schools sampled by the Project data collector between 1979 and 1985, 
the reports on a great majority of the Project products have been very encouraging. 
A good number of them showed consistent good performance from class to class in 
their various secondary schools. Their examination results were found to be well 
above average in most of the school subjects. Pupils demonstrated superior abili- 
ties in most of the school subjects they were examined on. And when contrasted 
with their classmates in subjects like Yoruba, English Language and Mathematics, 
the Project products were found to be at an advantage academically. 

The monitoring of the Project products did not terminate at the secondary educa- 
tion level. The products' performances at the tertiary level of education were also 
being monitored. At the time of writing this report, 17 of the Project products are 
known to be offering courses in institutions of higher learning in the country. Table 
28 overleaf, summarizes some of the available data on the seventeen subjects. In ad- 
dition, the Project Executive had just caused an advertisement to be put in some of 



the Nigerian dailies for the products of the Project to furnish the Project's 
secretariat, that is, Institute of Education, with details of their educational pursuits. 

Table 28 

Some SYPP Product* la Institution! of Higher Learning In Nigeria. 






Julius Adewuyi 


5 years 



Kayode Fayokun 


4 years 



Arinpc Olufajo 


4 years 



Bunmi Adegoke 


4 years 




Adewuyi Salako 


2 years 



Ajisekola Julius 

S.D.A. Ife 

3 years 



Toyin Olasoji 

S.D.A. Ife 

3 years 



Bose Agunbiade 

S.D.A. Ife 

3 years 



Bunmilola Olaoye 

UPE Ife 

2 years 



Nike Adeyemi 


4 years 

Bio - Chemistry 


Toowo Okeyode 


3 years 

N.C.E. Agric. 


•Yinka Okubena 


5 years 



Bisi Oyesiji 


5 years 



Adewuyi 'Obenga 


3 years 

Arts (Yoruba) 


Odunmorayo Fabunmi 


4 - 7 years 



Olayinka Okubena 



Derin Ologunde 


It is significant to note that from all available information, the SYPP products in 
institutions of higher learning in the country are proving their mettle. 




Conclusions, Implications and 



Conclusions, Implications and 

Governments' Reaction to the Project 

In May, 1977, the Institute of Education organized a two-day seminar to which 
Commissioners of Education, Permanent Secretaries and Chief Inspectors of Edu- 
cation of the five Yoruba speaking States of Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Lagos and Kwara 
were invited. Four of the five states were represented, while Kwara State was un- 
avoidably absent. The Ford Foundation was also represented at the Seminar. The 
objective was to present the Project officially to these governments in an attempt to 
promote the use of Yoruba medium at the primary level of education. 

Every aspect of the Project was presented at the seminar and a great deal of sti- 
mulating discussions took place. The theme of the Seminar was 'An Overview of the 
SIX— YEAR PRIMARY PROJECT*. The participants visited the Project school in 
Ife and examined the 146 textbooks produced by the Project. At the end of the semi- 
nar, the following Communique was issued by the participants at the seminar. 

1 . The Seminar noted with interest the history of the Six Year Primary 
(Yoruba) Project. 

2. The Seminar also agreed with the philosophy that the child learns better 
and more effectively in his mother tongue or first language than in a se- 
cond language. 

3. The Seminar noted with great interest the four-point objectives of the 

(a) to use the Yoruba language as the medium of instruction throug- 
hout, in order to demonstrate that Primary Education when given 
in the child's mother tongue or first language rather than in a se- 
cond or foreign language, is more effective and meaningful; 

(b) to teach the English language effectively as a second language; 

(c) to develop a primary education Curriculum with an adequately 
strong surrender value - since Primary Education is terminal for 
the majority of Nigerian children; 

(d) to develop materials together with appropriate methodology for 
effectively teaching the prepared curriculum. 



4. The Seminar expressed satisfaction with the University of Ife Six-Year 
Primary (Yoruba) Project Experiment and the materials developed. 

5. The Seminar recommended the setting up by the Ministries of Educa- 
tion in Yoruba speaking States of necessary machinery to examine the 
materials already developed at Ife with a view to making them available 
for wider use. 

Experimental Adoption of the Project by Oyo State Government 

In 1985, the Oyo State Government, one of the four Yoruba speaking states of the 
Federal Republic of Nigeria, decided to introduce the Ife Six Year Project into its 
primary schools in January 1986 on a trial basis. Oyo State has an estimated popula- 
tion of 12 million Yoruba speaking people. The Ife Project organized a series of 
teacher training classes for 70 tutors who in turn trained 700 teachers who were to 
teach 20,000 primary one pupils in selected primary schools in the state. In 1987, a 
second group of 20,000 children were admitted to Year One while the 1986 class 
moved to the second year of the programme, making a total of 40,000 children and 
1,400 teachers in the Project as of 1987. In January 1988, another set of 20,000 
Primary one pupils were enrolled in the Project, making a total of 60,000 pupils and 
2, 100 teachers. 

The State Government adopts the programme as a pilot Project. It plans to extend 
it to cover the entire primary school system by 1989, thus covering the primary 
school population which stands at 2 million pupils at present. 

Meanwhile, 10 of the 21 states in Nigeria are using some of the Project published 
books. In Ogun, Ondo, Oyo and Kwara States, at least 2 million children are using 
some of the Project materials in the Yoruba language. 


There was the assumption that no Nigerian language was rich and flexible enough to 
express scientific concepts and ideas. Mathematical concepts also, it was believed, 
could not be expressed in any Nigerian language; and so for years, the thought of 
making a break-through in these areas was never conceived. When the Ife Project 
declared its intention to teach mathematics in a mother-tongue, it was regarded as a 
wild goose chase. The intention of course was that, if it was possible to perform this 
'feat' with Yoruba as a medium of instruction, it might be possible to try it with ot- 
her Nigerian languages, and this could lead eventually to discovering a very versatile 
Nigerian language which might be adjudged and decreed the national language for 
purpose of government business, commerce and education. 

Apart from local and national prejudices against the use of a Nigerian language, 
it might be conceded that its use at the university level would create serious problems 



in terms of personnel and teaching materials. But judging from the Ife experience, 
such concept or problems could only be ascribed to fear of the unknown. It should 
be realized that once the fundamentals in terms of expression of concepts 
and other terminologies could be settled at the foundation level, subsequent stages 
would not present much difficulty. 

One of the great lessons learnt from the Ife Project is the principle of borrowing, 
coining and adoption in expressing a new concept or idea foreign to the mother- 
tongue. This is not strange neither is it peculiar to Nigerian languages. The English 
language is replete with terms borrowed or adapted from other languages of the 
Indo-European or Germanic group. Without unduly belabouring the issue, one or 
two examples of English vocabulary would suffice; words like encore, restaurant, 
champagne, coup, elite, rapport, detente, tell a story. 

Ife experience has also proved the immense possibilities there are for the use of 
any language. The stock of new words that has been unearthed since the Project ad- 
dressed itself to the use of Yoruba in expressing ideas and concepts has been revea- 
ling and this has been made possible through co-operation with three sets of people, 

(a) the illiterate but knowledgeable members of the society; 

(b) the literate, particularly the aged members of the society; and 

(c) men and women steeped in the knowledge of traditional culture . 

Because of the various interests that they represent, and because of the diverse le- 
xis that each interest commands, the blending of the lexis and registers peculiar to 
the many interests has resulted in the enrichment of the mother-tongue, Yoruba. 

The Travails of Choosing a Language 

The idea of conducting primary education in the mother-tongue in the chosen locali- 
ty was accepted with mixed reactions of enthusiasm and scepticism. The immediate 
circle of colleagues of the organizers were enthused and were prepared to co-operate 
in the venture, looking forward to the outcome of an educational revolution or is it 
evolution? It was this group of people who, among others, played the role of 
resource-persons both in respect of the language and the curriculum content. 

On the other side were those who were opposed to the whole idea of using mother- 
tongue as a medium of instruction, and this group was a formidable one as they re- 
presented various opposing interests. The group, strangely enough, was motivated 
by diverse causes which may be classified as: 

(a) Ignorance 

(b) Jealousy, and 

(c) Scepticism. 



We make bold to say that of the three categories, the third tended to be the most 
formidable and it found ready sympathizers in the first group which it found easy 
to confound by its method of obscurantism. 

One might say that the opposition of the uninformed citizens to the use of 
mother-tongue for school or formal education in the Nigerian context was natural 
and justified. For years, since they got to know of western brand of formal educa- 
tion, the pattern of school operations was that in which the ability to speak English 
fluently and learn the curriculum courses in English would guarantee the learner 
eventually a white collar job. The proposed departure from this pattern by the Pro- 
ject organizers was, therefore, an anathema to them. 

Further, a section of the uninformed group believed, wrongly of course, that the 
proposed use of the mother-tongue, Yoruba, was a calculated design to deprive their 
own children of the opportunity of learning to speak the English language which 
was, it was believed, a badge of the educated. Some of these antagonists even went 
to the ridiculous level of accusing the organizers that they were out to introduce the 
measure to the detriment of the children of the ordinary citizens since their (the 
organizers') own children had gone beyond the primary school stage in education. 

However, it was not difficult to convert the antagonists who were honestly oppo- 
sed to the proposed use of the mother tongue from sheer ignorance of the educatio- 
nal advantage in laying a foundation through this medium. From the genesis of the 
programme, English as a second language had been included in the selected curricu- 
lum courses and was being taught as any other school subject in its own right. The 
erroneous idea carried by the uninformed group was that English would not be 
taught at all. And so, when in less than six months the children in the experimental 
class were performing better in English than their counterpart in the control classes 
within the same given period, their opposition gave way to indifference and their in- 
difference finally to the support of the Project. What the uninformed group needed 
was first a dialogue for information, and next a proof of the expected result of the 
experiment. It was not too difficult to meet the two requirements. 

The case of the second group was quite a natural one: why shouldn't it be my own 
language? In a muld-lingual society, any preference for one language in an issue like 
this would readily suggest a position of strength and superiority; but this could soon 
be resolved with the yard stick of merit. It is obvious that the language that has a 
long history of usage with the concomittant development and improvement would 
recommend itself for adoption by reason of its richness and flexibility. 

In the case of the Ife Experiment, this group was probably not strong. First and 
foremost, the Project was located in a setting where Yoruba is the predominant lan- 
guage. The linguistic variants amongst the Yoruba language speakers in the locality 
even proved a source of strength to the adoption of the language for the experiment. 
All the same, there existed a minority group in this category whose jealousy was 
aroused by the fact that their children were going to be educated via a 'foreign' me- 
dium. This objection was, of course, very feeble since the children of these parents 



in this minority group use Yoruba as a language of interaction in the community af- 
ter school hours. 

The last category, the sceptics, was the most difficult to deal with. They were the 
most vocal, the best educated and, unfortunately, ill motivated in their opposition. 
They could best be described as the blind adherent of the 'status quo'; all they stood 

for was no change. It was difficult for them to envisage the growth of the Yoruba 
language to be able to accommodate the demands of teaching science and mathema- 
tics at the secondary and higher levels. It is never in the nature of the sceptic to try 
an experiment which may be successful or otherwise, but he can be persuaded to 
shift position, depending upon the forces against his stance. 

In a larger community, however, like a state or a whole geographical entity but at 
the same time multi-lingual, the prejudice may be by far deep seated. The elite of the 
society with vested interest in higher education would not readily yield to a change 
that was likely to threaten their entrenched position. 

The elitist group divides into two categories: First, there was the class which be- 
longed to the university system — the academics and the administrators. The highly 
sophisticated amongst them found it extremely difficult to peep down from their 
ivory tower to appreciate the necessity of finding a solution to the age-long pro- 
blems of the indigenous learner having to battle with both language of instruction 
and the course content at one and the same time. They argued that if they could suc- 
ceed in this situation, why can't others? For them, no African language can achieve 
in this century what has taken the English language hundreds of years to accom- 
plish. These die-hard traditionalists are oblivious to current language development 
in other parts of the world e.g. India, Sri-Lanka, Tanzania, Somalia, Ethiopia etc. 

The other arm of the elitist group was perhaps less fanatical in their opposition to 
change. Even if they could see the achievements of the pupils taught through 
mother-tongue medium at the primary school level, they could not conceive how 
such break-through could apply at both the secondary and the tertiary levels. 

One major thing that the Ife Experiment has achieved is that apart from the fact 
that quite a sizeable percentage of the foundation students had successfully gone 
through both secondary school and tertiary programmes, they had done so with gre- 
ater ease than their counterparts from the regular or control schools; and have pro- 
ved better integrated individuals, well-adjusted, more resourceful and decidedly 

Implications of Choosing a Language 

The proposal to use mother-tongue as a medium of instruction for formal education 
is beset with a number of problems. These problems can be of varying degree of in- 
tensity depending on whether the area of operation is monolingual, bilingual or 


One would tend to think tha\ in an area which is monolingual, there would be no 
serious problems arising from the decision to use the mother-tongue as an instruc- 
tional medium, depending on how advanced the development of the indigenous lan- 
guage is in its potency to cover all areas of human endeavours — social, cultural, 
business, commercial and technical. 

If the language is deficient of course in any of these areas of transaction, there 
will be the utmost necessity to establish facilities for linguistic research into those 
aspects of the language that need strengthening or improvement. In a monolingual 
community however, there are a few variants which in effect would add to the 
richness of the language. 

In a bilingual community, the problem of choice would depend on whether one 
language is indigenous and the other, foreign; or whether both are indigenous but 
spoken in different parts of the country. If the decision is to adopt the mother- 
tongue as an instructional medium, it is obvious that all efforts would be directed 
towards the development of the mother-tongue to be able to achieve the purpose of 
education. And since it would be a national policy, all resources — cultural, politi- 
cal, economic and legal — would be mobilized to procuring the desired end-result. 

In the circumstances of two different languages, each predominantly spoken in 
different parts of the country, the choice of which of the two would be adopted is 
likely to lead to agitation between the two groups. It is not unlikely that either group 
would wish to bring all sorts of pressure to bear in its favour for the adoption of its 
own brand of the language; but support and eventual choice would be weighed in 
favour of that language which is more developed with potentiality for further deve- 
lopment that could make it take care of the linguistic aspects of all human endeav- 
ours and satisfy the quest for knowledge. 

Lastly, in a multi-lingual state, the Ife Experiment has provided a paradigm for 
an approach to the choice of an indigenous language as an instructional medium. 
There are certain aspects of the Experiment which at this stage can be highlighted 
for the purpose of adoption . 

The Ife case revealed that at the inception of the Experiment, there were teachers 
who spoke very fluently the chosen mother-tongue — Yoruba both for formal and 
informal purposes. In fact, Yoruba satisfied (and still satisfies) the needs of its users 
for all purposes except as a medium of education. It was hardly used for teaching 
any subject on the school time-table. Even when it was used to introduce primary 
pupils to their cultural heritage such as for describing marriage customs, festivals, 
or story-telling, there was never any attempt to pay attention to grammar, lexis or 
register, sentence-structure etc. 

When therefore the class teachers in the Experimental class came to handle the 
teaching of subjects like Mathematics (matimatiki) and Science (Sayensi) in the 
mother-tongue, their inadequacy became apparent and there was an obvious need to 
give the teachers some training under a crash programme. 

The training of the teachers took many forms both in character and duration. 
First, there was orientation of the teachers to the philosophy of the Project, as this 
was considered basic to their effective performance in the classroom, using the 
mother-tongue. This was necessary as it was soon discovered that teachers who were 
not 'converted* failed to relate not only to the children but also to the newly designa- 
ted courses. It became inevitable that some of these teachers were dropped some- 
where along the line. 

Workshops were mounted periodically at week-ends and during vacation periods 
during which the teachers were exposed to new methodology and the use of instruc- 
tional materials designed for effective classroom teaching. Demonstration lessons 
were also held by experts on various courses for the benefit of those handling them 
in the classroom. One of the habits the teachers were trained to cultivate was the use 
of creative language during teaching, another was to explain any expression involv- 
ing new vocabularly or concepts so as to facilitate pupils' learning effort as well as 
enrich and expand their vocabulary. To assist teachers in this task, they were them- 
selves encouraged to prepare their lesson notes in the Yoruba language for class- 
room instruction; this put the teachers themselves in a state of preparedness to assist 
pupils and ensure a free flow of communication. 

As an innovative Project, the training of the teachers was not restricted to local 
resources. As the occasion demanded, overseas training was planned for those of 
them specializing in certain areas of pedagogy, and this was done by instalments. 
The purpose of the scheme to have teachers specially trained for the experiment was 
two-fold: first, to ensure proficiency in the handling of the medium for the purpose 
of classroom instruction; and two, to obviate the linguistic difficulties that the tea- 
chers themselves might have with explaining new concepts to young ones. In addi- 
tion, it exposed the teachers to the potentialities of the indigenous language as a tool 
for research and exploration. 

The training abroad was calculated to enable the teachers make a comparative 
study of the mother-tongue and the second language which was largely used as a 
medium of instruction in the past. The courses to which the teachers were exposed 
were made up of lectures, seminars, and observation in selected schools in the neigh- 
bourhood of the university to which they were attached. This experience reinforced 
the teachers' competence in the following areas: 

mother-tongue teaching methods, 

group and individual teaching, 

classroom organization, 

remediation of learning difficulties, 

the teaching of English as a second language 

the teaching of Social Studies, 

the teaching of Mathematics and Science and 

the evaluation of language achievement. 



In addition to the foregoing major forms of training, there were other kinds of 
training 'on demand', when workshops were held for text writing during long vaca- 
tion, or for introducing new materials, for evaluation or 'on-the-job' training. 

Another side-effect or indirect result of the entire programme was that of public 
relations. With a subject like Social and Cultural Studies, the Project needed to relate 
with parents of the children as well as some eminent citizens with knowledge of the 
culture, the ethos and the mores of the society for briefing on essential issues. This 
was done by either inviting these citizens to the school premises or visiting them in 
their homes to collect information related to topics on hand. This created an 
atmosphere of mutual understanding and beneficial interaction which led to esta- 
blishing a strong rapport between the teaching staff on the Project and the promi- 
nent citizens in the community. Many of the latter served as resource-persons in 
various areas of curriculum development. 

Achievements of the Experiment 

At this point, it might be appropriate to recount some of the palpable achievements 
of the Project which, as once mentioned, started as a venture of faith and hope. The 
young ones who were innocently enrolled in the Experiment nineteen years ago were 
now out of school. The monitoring team established by the Project organizers for a 
follow-up exercise has had quite a task but a pleasant one in tracing the products of 
the Experiment, and has brought back documented reports on the performances of 
the children. 

Some of these children who started the Project could not go beyond the primary 
school for reasons that had nothing to do with the nature of the Experiment. Some 
dropped out because of sickness and others for lack of funds. 

Those who gained admission to secondary schools on their own merit, also gained 
admission to various universities, or to the Colleges of Education and Polytechnics. 
Those admitted to the university came out with degrees in various fields. Very brie- 
fly, it has been proved that the foundation laid with instruction in the mother- 
tongue has not turned out to be detrimental to the children's progress at higher 

Apart from the academic achievement of these children, evidence has it that those 
of them who had turned to technical pursuit, have proved more resourceful than 
their counterparts from other schools whom they met on the technical plane. The 
Six Year Primary Project children have demonstrated greater manipulative ability, 
manual dexterity and mechanical comprehension all of which they had acquired at 
the primary school level through mother-tongue as the medium of instruction. In 
their relationship to their colleagues, the Project children have demonstrated a great 
sense of maturity, tolerance and other affective qualities that make them integrate 
easily and readily with those they come in contact with. 


1 70 

One factor that greatly and positively influenced the affective and psychomotor 
quality and ability of the Project products was the Social and Cultural Studies 
course given to them in their mother-tongue. It was in this area that the school very 
closely related to the homes, and by bringing the teaching of this course to reflect 
the mores of the community which is rooted in its culture, it greatly influenced the 
children and moulded their lives in the right attitude and direction. 

The Ife Experiment aptly demonstrated the importance of co-operation in educa- 
tional activities. This is of course highly essential in relation to a research Project or 
introduction of a novel practive involving human interest and destiny. 

The academics like university professors became aware that there was much that 
parents not in the academic world could contribute to the development of intellec- 
tual and moral growth of the learner. In the area of Social and Cultural Studies, the 
contribution by parents and other members of the community who acted as 
resource-persons was tremendous and it opened a new vista of other dimensions. 

The practising teachers who might be regarded as technicians in the classroom, 
supplied the university professors with needed on-the-spot results of the theory put 
to test in the classroom. In most of the courses introduced by the Project organizers, 
the contents expressed in the syllabuses were either new or radically modified to con- 
form with the ideology of the project. Consequently, it was left to the classroom tea- 
chers to run the trial-tests in the classroom. In spite of guidelines on methodology, 
the outcome would turn on the unquantifiable quality of the teacher. It is here that 
the co-operation between the curriculum writer and the practising teacher is essen- 
tial. It is more than the ordinary sentiment of the minds so that the understanding of 
the 'creator' of the syllabus can be shared by the classroom 'curator* which would 
lead to honest translation of theory into practice. 

In the practising arena, the co-operation of the classroom teacher and the pupil is 
inevitable. The teacher may not be able to teach Science (Sayensi) to Olu unless he 
understands both Olu and Science. Assuming the teacher can take Science for gran- 
ted, because of his academic equipment, Olu cannot be so regarded because he is a 
complex entity, unlike Science. Without the child co-operating and this co- 
operation takes many forms, the combined efforts of the professor and the class- 
room teacher could be set at naught. 

The Ife Experiment is humbly acclaimed the first of its kind in Africa or at least, 
in Nigeria. Thus with the initial opposition stemming out of prejudices both rational 
and irrational, if the pupils of the Experimental school had not co-operated, the 
honest efforts of the Project organizers could have been disastrously frustrated. 
This could have strengthened the opposing interests and worse still, forced the 
school authority and the government that owned the school to withdraw sympathy 
for the cause and deprive the Project of moral, financial and even personal support. 
This again, proves the programme to be a fine example in co-operation. 

At the beginning Ihe school selected for the experiment was (and still is) owned by 
the government of the Oyo State (formerly part of the Western State). The staff, 



from the head-teacher to the least, were supplied by the government who was also 
responsible for the pre-service training of almost all of them. It was (and still is) the 
same government that pay the salaries of all these teachers. It could therefore be ea- 
sily inferred .hat without the support of the government, the Project could not have 
taken off the ground. 

In the school system still operating, the government has the responsibility to de- 
ploy its staff as it deems fit, and so, continuity of service of any teacher in any one 
school is not guaranteed. With the kind of experiment the Project organizers were 
running, it was evident that constant shifting of teachers from and to the school of 
operation would surely upset the experiment. With this anticipated danger in mind 
the organizers approached the government through the Ministry of Education which 
has the immediate control of the school. They acknowledged the right of the govern- 
ment to deploy its staff according to the needs of the schools; but at the same time, 
it was explained to the Ministry how the vagaries of posting of teachers in the chosen 
school(s) for the experiment would disrupt the operation of the programme. 
The concession by the government to grant the continued stay of teachers involved 
in the experiment for the duration of its life is yet another fine example in co- 
operation that the Project organizers enjoyed in the whole venture. 


As of now, the experiment in the use of mother-tongue at the primary education 
level has produced valuable information and a wealth of educational experience. So 
far, only one state out of the four covered by the indigenous language- Yoruba-has 
adopted the programme on trial basis. It has been proved that primary education 
conducted in the mother-tongue — Yoruba — leads to greater result in permanent 
literacy and numeracy: it has greater surrender-value and makes the child a better 
integrated and adjusted citizen in his community. 

There is convincing evidence that teaching at the primary school level via the 
mother-tongue is a rewarding activity with lasting salutary effect. The Ife Experi- 
ment brought to the fore the significance of the co-operation between the school and 
the home. The parents came to the realization of the truth that the on-going activi- 
ties within the classroom walls were not opposed to the interest of the home; rather, 
they were to complement the informal education of the home, enrich and stabilize 
it, or where it is deficient, strengthen it. 

Through this co-operation and other incidental factors, the mother-tongue has 
become greatly enriched. New ideas and concepts springing out of certain courses or 
curriculum contents have lid to the discovery of new registers, lexis and language 
structures. It is significant to note that the Experiment has helped tremendously in 
streamlining the Yoruba orthography which has become universally adopted by all 
writers in that language. 

143 Vf 2 

Another momentous side issue of the Experiment was the evolution of a typing 
machine (typewriter) with Yoruba characters. The far-reaching result of this is the 
possibility for any enterprise to produce manuscript in Yoruba with the pure Yoruba 
alphabet without resorting to make-shift-device of using or substituting English let- 
ters for Yoruba words like OSUN and not OSHUN; SAGAMU, not SHAG AMU; 
OSOGBO and not OSHOGBO etc. 

In the academic world, the Ife Experiment has not failed to make its impact. The 
exercise opened oip possibilities for research activities. Foreign and indigenous 
nationals who had been involved in the evaluation exercise of the Project had used 
some of the results to work for masters and doctorate degrees; even undergraduates 
of the home university of the Experiment, after their first degrees, have found areas 
of academic interest into which they researched for their second or third degree. 


When the idea of using a mother-tongue as an instructional medium was conceived, 
it was on the premise that the existing system of education then had not helped the 
learner to acquire permanence in literacy and numeracy. It was also observed that 
the system did not produce such citizens who could be credited with the quality of 
self-reliance and initiative; hence the decision to cultivate these young ones through 
their mother-tongue, thereby instilling in them these desirable qualities rooted in 
their culture and capable of making them reliable and dependable citizens. 

So it could be affirmed that with all good intentions, supported by infrastructures 
to translate the intentions into action, a national language could be developed to 
take care of formal education to the level of secondary education and beyond. It is 
conceded that materials for higher education especially at the university level are in- 
ternational, but even then, when it gets to that level, if there has been gradual evolu- 
tion and development of that African language, it should be able to cover all the lin- 
guistic needs of human activities. 

Prejudice apart, if Gujarati, Tamil or Polish could be used to pursue formal edu- 
cation to the tertiary level, there is no reason, in a multi-lingual community in Africa, 
why an indigenous language could not be adopted to serve the purpose of education 
to any level. Yoruba, the mother-tongue of over 12 million speakers has been tried 
and found capable of satisfying the requirements of primary education as a medium 
of instruction. By the same token, if the same devotion, diligence, perseverance and 
dedication supported with financial resources and other facilities could be sum- 
moned to the task of language development, it would be possible to harness it 
(Yoruba) to curriculum teaching at the secondary and tertiary levels. 

In conclusion, our thesis is that the choice of an indigenous language, in a multi- 
lingual African community for purpose of education, that is, a medium of instruc- 
tion, requires very careful handling. Ethnic rivalry and local prejudices could be 
easily overcome with honest intention and clarity of purpose. We could say with 


1 *" > 
1 « O 

confidence that any indigenous language could be used to achieve the object of lite- 
racy teaching or education. The same could be said for technical education in a 
local setting. What would be difficult to achieve, in perhaps a generation or less, is 
the use of an indigenous language at the university level; but this, too, is not impos- 

It is our view that once science education could be given in an indigenous langu- 
age, as the Ife Experiment has shown, the path is being cleared for the use of an 
indigenous language at the university level. The crux of the matter will be a national 
language to be so used. It is here we envisage some problems at arriving on the choi- 
ce. Even then, if three or more indigenous languages have been engaged in formal 
education, as is the case with Nigeria and some other-African countries, it is likely 
that the choice of a national language would fall on that language which appears to 
be the richest and with linguistic elasticity to accommodate all activities of human 
endeavours. This may require government legislation. 

Finally, if one may drop a hint about the idea of creating a national language 
through fusing of two or three principal languages, this is a trend that is likely to set 
back the hands of the clock of development of each language. It is likely, too, to cre- 
ate more problems than it sets out to solve. Even at the primary level, there is likely 
to be a stand-still of the wheel of progress; we are all likely to be pupils without tea- 

3 . Recommendations For Proposed Replication By Other States 

In order to assist other states, countries or groups to plan for the use of African lan- 
guages as a media of education, the following recommendation borne out of the ex- 
perience of the Ife Six Year Primary Project will go a long way in ensuring effective 

(1) Establish the status of the language chosen. For example (a) what per- 
centage of the community under reference speaks the language? (b) Is it 
already a written language and does literature exist in it? The answers to 
these questions will indicate the degree and extent of work to be done in 
basic language development. 

(2) State clearly the objectives of the Project. 

(3) Prepare a comprehensive proposal for your Project. 

(4) Consult Educational Authorities and possible funding agencies — go- 
vernmental or private or both. 

(5) Set up machinery for operation, e.g. , 

(a) an Advisory Body — a large consulting group of experts; 

(b) a Working Committee 

(c) an Executive Committee 


(d) Writing Panels 

(e) a Production Unit. 

(6) Select school(s) for the Project. 

(7) Select adequately qualified teachers . 

(8) Organize initial orientation sessions for all personnel involved (as in 1 to 
7 above). 

(9) Set up experimental and control groups. Ensure that both groups are 
physically separated to avoid contamination. 

(10) Set up evaluation machinery to develop and administer evaluation in- 

(1 1) Organize training programmes, if required for any of the expertise iden- 
tified above. 

(12) Establish regular workshop sessions of long and short durations for cur- 
riculum development and implementation, e.g., Workshops for 

(13) Establish a good monitoring system covering the different stages of lear- 
ning, e.g., primary, secondary and tertiary education, and including 
those whose education terminates at each level. 

(14) Prepare a comprehensive report at every stage not only for local and im- 
mediate consumption but for wider dissemination. 


Syllabus review 
Text writing 

Trial testing in normal classroom situations 
Evaluation — formative and summative. 



I. Advisory and Executive Committees 

II. The Writing Groups 

III. Ford Foundation Consultants 

VI. Contributors to the Six Year Primary Project 

V. List of some Secondary Schools where Project Pupils Enrolled after Pri- 
mary Six 

VI. Categories of "Books" produced 

VII. List of some Visitors to the Project Between 1969 and 1979 


The Project Team: 

1. The Advisory Committee 

Appendix I 




Professor A.B. Fafunwa 

Faculty of Education, University 

of Ife 


Professor E.A. Yoloye 

University of Ibadan 


Professor A. Bamgbose 

University of Ibadan 


Professor S.H.O. Tomori 

University of Ibadan 


Professor A. Adetugbo 

University of Lagos 


Professor A. Afolayan 

University of Ife 


Professor J.O. Abiri 

University of Ibadan 


Professor Wande Abimbola 

University of Ife 


Mr. A.M. Laosebikan 

Baptist College, Iwo 


Mr. J.O.B. Adebambo 

St. Andrew College, Oyo. 


Mr. J.O. Odeyale 

Wesley College, Ibadan. 


Dr. E.A. Oyewole 

University of Ife 


Mr. J.A.F. Sokoya 

University of Ife 


Mr. D.A. Ologunde 

University of Ife 


Professor Mrs B Osibodu 

1 Jniversitv of Tfp 


Professor J.I. Macauley 

University of Ife 


Mr. C.A. Adebayo 

University of Ife 


Chief I.O. Delano 

Resource person, Ibadan. 


Professor R.O. Alabi 

University of Ilorin 


Chief J.L. Winjobi 

Ministry of Education, Ibadan. 


Mr. M A. Makinde 

Govt. Teacher Training College, 



Professor T. A. Awoniyi 

University of Ibadan 


Mr. J.F. Lawuyi 

Baptist College, Iwo. 


Mrs. Marjorie Lowy Shaplin. 

The Ford Foundation, Lagos. 

2 . The Executive Committee 

1. Professor A. B. Fafunwa 

2. Mr. J.A.F. Sokoya 

3. Professor A. Afolayan 

— Chairman 



4. The Director, Institute of Education 

5. Professor J.I. Macauley 

6. Mr. D. Ologunde 

7. Professor E.A. Yoloye 

8. Mr. A.M. Laosebikan 

9. Dr. T. Fashokun 

10. Mr. J.O.B. Adebambo 

11. Mrs. C.F. Oredugba 

12. Professor Dibu Ojerinde 

— Secretary 

— Consultant Evaluator 

— Asst. Evaluator. 

Appendix II 

The Writing Groups 

Professor A. Babs Fafunwa — Director of the Six 

Year Primary Project 
and overall Workshop 

Professor A. Afolayan 
Mr. D.A. Ologunde 

Mr. J.A.F. Sokoya 

(a) English 

Mrs. Marjorie Shaplin 
Professor Juliet Macauley 
Mr. Tunji Adebayo 
Professor A. Adetugbo 
Dr. J. A. Akere 
Mrs. A.O. Adedeji 
Mrs. C.A. Fawole 
Mrs. L.A. Akioye 

— General Supervisor at 

— Co-ordinator for pro- 
duction at Work- 

— Controller of Finance 
at Workshops. 

— Ford Foundation 


1 <8 

(b) Yoruba 

Professor A. Afolayan 
Mr. D.A. Ologunde 
Professor J.O. Abiri 
Dr. J.O. Ajimoko 
Professor T.A. Awoniyi 
Mrs. M. Afolayan 

(c) Mathematics 

Mr. A.M. Laosebikan 
Professor Mrs. B. Osibodu 
Mr. J. A. Ogunwuyi 
Mr. A.A. Afolabi 

(d) Science 

Professor A.B. Fafunwa 
Professor R.O. Alabi 
Chief J.L. Winjobi 
Dr. J.O. Afolayan 
Dr. T.O. Fasokun 

(e) Social and Cultural Studies 

Mr. J.A.F. Sokoya 
Mr. J.O.B. Adebambo 
Mr. J.F. Lawuyi 
Mr. S.O. Onafowokan 

Evaluation Staff: Six Year Primary Project 

Professor E. A. Yoloye Chief Consultant Evaluator: 
Dr. M.O. Olasehinde Assistant Evaluator: 
Professor J.B. Ipaye 
Professor Dibu Ojerinde 

Evaluation Test- Writing Group 

Professor Dibu Ojerinde 
Professor Diran Taiwo 
Dr. A. Adeyinka 
Mrs. C.F. Oredugba 

All members of the various writing groups as listed. 

All representatives of the Western State Ministry of Education. 





HM — Mr. T.A. Onigbinde 
ASST — Mr. A.O. Egbedeyi 
HM — Mr. J.O. Odumo 

ASST — Mr. T.A. Oni 

HM — Mr. A.A. Adelani 
ASST — Mrs. C.F. Akande 

Mrs. L.O. Akioye (Eng) 
Mrs. C.A. Fawole (Eng) 
Mrs. M. Afolayan (Yoruba, 
Rem. Tr.) 
Mrs. W.T. Osoba (Eng) 
Mrs. B.O. Anjorin (Eng) 


Mrs. D.O. Arimoro 

Mr. R.O. Olabode 

Mr. J.S. Afolayan 

Mrs CO. Awosanya 

Mr. J.O. IfVsanmi 

Mrs. G.A. Adeoti 

Mr. M.O. Eniola 

Mr. I.A. Salako 

Mrs. E.O. Ilori 

Mrs. H.A. Olorunwumi 

Mr. A.O. Awofolajin 

Mrs. J.S. Jibodu 

Mrs. F.O. Fatudimu 

Mr. S.O. Oyatoye 

Mr. T.O. Oke 

Mr. M.O. Odewande 

Mr. C.A. Oyeniyi 

Mrs Ayoola 


Name of Teacher Name of School 

Mr. T.A. Ogedengbe 
Mr. L.A. Idowu 
Mr. S.B. Awodele 
Mr. J.F. Ogunlade 
Mr. D.O. Feyisitan 
Mr. M.A. Oso 
Mrs. CO. Komolafe 
Miss CO. Ogunrinde 
Mr. J. A. Adeyemi 

N.U.D. Muroko Road, Ilesa 
— do- 

G.T.T.C. Demon. School, Ilesa 
Methodist School, Oke Omi, Osu 
— do— 

U.M.C. Demon. School, Ibadan 

— do— 
L.A. Idiope School, Oyo 

— do— 


Mrs. V.N. Odebisi 
Mr. I. A. Adebisi 
Mrs. J. A. Oyesoro 
Mr. M.O. Amoo 
Mr. R.O. Rahman 
Miss I.O. Olabode 
Mrs. F.A. Olagbaju 
Mrs. C.A.C. Agunbiade 

St. Andrew's College Demn. Schl. Oyo 

D.C. School, Elemo, Iwo 

Baptist Demon. School, Oke-Odo, Iwo 

D.C. Araromi Iwo 

St. Philip's Ang. Schl. Iloro, Ife 


Co-ordinators of the Proliferation Schools: 

(a) Mr. A.M. Laosebikan — 1970 — 1977 

(b) Rev. N.O. Owopetu _ 1977 _ 1980 

General Co-ordinator of the Entire Project 

(a) Mr. J.A.F. Sokoya — 1970 — 1977 

(b) Professor J.I. Macauley — 1977 — 1980 

Appendix III 

Ford Foundation Consultants and The Six Year Primary 
Project Team 

A. The Ford Foundation Consultants and Representatives 

Name Duration 

1. Mrs. Marjorie Shaplin Main Consultant to the Project.Played 

a leading role in providing the Blue 7 years 
print for the Project and for organizing 
training programmes. 

2. Mr. Melvin Fox The Ford Foundation representative in 

charge of education. Assisted in parti- 
cular, in providing valuable communi- 
cation channels between the Ford 
Foundation and the Project team in his 7 years 
capacity as the Foundations' chief mo- 
nitor of tht Project. 




Dr. K. Bigelow 

Ford Foundation officer in the educa- 
tion unit, Lagos. Worked with the Pro- 
ject team on some aspects of planning. 

iiuuui £, yiai 


Dr. Ralph Harbison 
Mr. D. Bell 

Consultant Evaluator 

Observers assigned by the Foundation 

one year 


Dr. W.K. Gamble 

for the purpose of assessment. 


Mrs. Betty Skolnick 


Dr. Richard Tucker 

Consultant Evaluator Assigned by the 
Foundation to evaluate and advise on 
assessment processes. 

3 weeks. 


Mr. Gary Cziko 

Visiting Evaluator. Assigned by the 
Foundation to assist with evaluation 
tests and reports 

Appendix IV 




1) Contribution of staff from the inauguration of the Project in the acade- 
mic year 1969/70. 

2) Provision of office space and administrative facilities throughout the 
duration of the primary phase. 

3) Provision of supplementary funds in 1977 which was the end of the 
Ford Foundation Grant period. 


1) Provision of the initial operational fund in three grant instalments, co- 
vering the period 1970 to 1976/77. (For all running costs of the Project). 

2) Provision of additional, occasional supplementary funds as requested 
for by the Project for special evaluation exercises between 1976 and 

3) Training facilities, both locally and abroad. 

4) Consulting personnel and facilities. 



Free access to 

(a) the schools specially selected for the Project; 

(b) teachers specially selected for the Project; 

(c) Inspectors requested for, to evaluate the Project. 




1 . Modakeke High School, Modakeke, Ife 

2. Our Lady's Girls High School, Ife 

3 . Origbo Anglican Grammar School, Ipetumodu 

4. St. John's Grammar School, Ife 

5 . Anglican Grammar School , I fe 

6. Ife Girl's High School, Ife 

7. Oranmiyan Memorial Grammar School, Ife 

8. Origbo Community High School, Ipetumodu 

9. S.D.A. Grammar School, Ife 

10. Moremi Grammar School, Ife 

1 1 . Osi-Soko Grammar School, Ife 

12. Olubuse High School, Ife 

13. Oluorogbo High School, Ife 

14. Ara Community Grammar School, Ife 

1 5 . Urban Day Grammar School, Ife 

16. C.A.C. Grammar School, Edunabon, Ife 

17. Islamic Grammar School, Modakeke, Ife 

18. St. David's Modern School, Ife 

19. Apostolic Modern School, Ife 

20. A.U.D. Modern School, Iloro, Ife 

21 . Anglican Modern School, Ife 

22. St. Peter's College, Ile-Ife. 


1 . Babalola Memorial Girls Grammar School, Ilesa 

2. C.A.C. Grammar School, Ilesa 

3 . Hope Grammar School, Ilesa 

4. St. Lawrence College, Ilesa 

5. Atakumosa Grammar School, Ilesa 

6. George Burton Grammar School, Ilesa 

7 . Methodist High School, Ilesa 

8. Owa High School, Ilesa 

9. Ilesa Grammar School, Ilesa 

10. Ijesa Moslem Grammar School, Ilesa 

11. St. Margaret's Girls Grammar School. Ilesa 

12. Ife-Oluwa Sec. Comm. Modern School, Ilesa 

1 3 . Council Secondary Commercial Modern School, Ilesa 

14. Community Secondary Modern School, Osu. 


1 . Queen's School, Ibadan 

2. Pupil's Grammar School, Ibadan 

3. Fatima College, Ikire 

4. Baptist Grammar School, Ibadan 

5 . Methodist High School, Ibadan 

6. St. Anne's College, Ibadan 

7. Urban Day School, Ibadan 

8. Yejide Girls Grammar School, Ibadan 

9. Eyini High School, Ibadan 

10. Ajia Grammar School, Ife-Road, Ibadan 

11. St . Patrick Grammar School, Ibadan 

12. Adekile Grammar School, Ibadan 

13. St . Teresa' s College, Ibadan 

14. Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan 
15 Lagelu Grammar School, Ibadan 

16. Government College, Ibadan 

1 7 . Loyola Grammar School, Ibadan . 


1 . Ilora Grammar School, Ilora Oyo 

2. St. Bernadine Grammar School, Oyo 

3 . Olivet High School, Oyo 

4. Iseyin Grammar School, Iseyin 



5. Ladigbolu Grammar School, Oyo 

6. Community Grammar School, Oyo 

7. Urban Day Grammar School, Oyo 

8. Awe High School, Awe, Oyo 

9. Oranyan Grammar School, Oyo 

10. Okeigbo Grammar School, Oyo 

11. AbiodunAtiba Grammar School, Oyo 

12. Isale-Oyo Community Grammar School, Oyo 

13. St. Joseph's Secondary Modern School, Oyo 

14. Anglican Secondary Modern School, Oyo 

1 5 . Opapa Secondary Modern School , Oyo . 


1 . Community High School, Iwo 

2. St. Mary's Grammar School, Iwo 

3. Baptist High School, Iwo 

4. Iwo Grammar School, Iwo 

5. Methodist High School, Iwo 

6. Ahmadiyya Grammar School, Iwo 

7. Aasa Community Com. School, Iwo 

8. Ogbagbaa Grammar School, Iwo 

9. St. Anthony's Catholic Modern School, Iwo 

10. L.A. Commercial Modern School, Iwo 

1 1 . Baptist Sec. Modern School, Iwo. 


1 . Baptist Grammar School, Osogbo 

2. Baptist College, Osogbo 

3. Gbongan/Odeomu Grammar School. 


1 . Federal Government College, Ogbomoso 

2. Baptist High School, Ogbomoso. 


1 . Ipoti High School, Ipoti Ekiti 

2. Doherty Memorial Grammar School, Ijero-Ekiti 

3 . Amoye Secondary School, Ikere-Ekiti . 

JL o J 


1 . S.D.A. Grammar School, Ede 

2. Baptist College, Ede 

3. Urban Day School, Ede 

4. Timi Agbale Grammar School, Ede. 


1 . Molusi College, Ijebu-Igbo 

2. Adeola Odutola College, Ijebu-Ode 

3. Anglican Girls' School, Ijebu-Ode. 

4. Mamerin High School, Ijebu-Ode. 


1 . Mayflower School, Ikenne. 


1 . Muslim High School, Sagamu 

2. Remo Secondary School, Sagamu. 


1 . Oriwu College, Ikorodu. 


1 . Federal Government College, Ilorin. 


1 . Federal Government College, New Busa. 


1 . Federal Government College, Idoani . 


1 . Ayetoro Comprehensive High School, Aiyetoro Via 




1 . Ondo Boy ' s High School , Ondo 

2. St. Joseph's Grammar School, Ondo 

3. St. Luke's Grammar School, Ondo 

4. St. Monica's College, Ondo. 


(a) From St. Stephen's A, Modakeke, Ile-Ife 


57 pupils 

59 pupils 
55 pupils 

58 pupils 

60 pupils 
64 pupils 

(b) From the Proliferation Schools 
(i) 1977/78 Session 

1. N.U.D. MurokoRoad, Ilesa 

2. G.T.T.C. Demon. Schl., Ilesa 

3. Methodist, Oke-Omi, Osu 

4. U.M.C. Demon, Ibadan 

5. L.A. Idiope, Oyo 

6. St. Andrew's Demon. Oyo 

7. D.C. Elemo, Iwo 

8. Baptist Demon. Okc-Odo, 

9. D.C. Araromi, Iwo 
10. St. Philip's Iloro, Ife 


By Examination 
— do- 
— do— 
— do— 

By Examination 

1 pupil 
8 pupils 

10 pupils 



(ii) 1978/79 Session By Examina- 


1. Methodist School, Oke-Omi, Osu 28 pupils 

2. L.A. School, Idi-Ope, Oyo 37 " 

3. U.M.C. Demon. School, Ibadan 33 " 

4. Baptist School, Oke-Odo, Iwo 32 " 


1 <" *J 

5. D.C. Araromi, Iwo 

6. N.U.D. Muroko Road, Ilcsa 

7. St. Andrew's Demon. Oyo 

8. St. Phillip's Ang. School, Ilaro, Ife 

9. G.T.T.C. Demon. School, Ilesa 
10. D.C. School, Elemo, Iwo 

Appendix VI 
Categories of 'Books' Produced 

(a) Books for a wider audience 

(1) Syllabus 

(2) Teacher's Guides 

(3) Yoruba Language course books 

(4) English Supplementary Readers 

(5) Publications on the Project 

(6) Books in subject areas newly introduced 

(b) Pupils' Books for Class Use 

(1) Text Books — e.g. Mathematics Books 

(2) Supplementary Readers 

(3) Books on Display 

(c) Reference Books/ Books on Display in class reserved for the class library. 

(d) Teacher's scheme of work. 

(e) Publications on the Project. 

Appendix VII 
List of tome Visitors to the Project Between 
1969 and 1979 

Name of Visitors Position Held Purpose of Visit 

1 Mrs M»jorie Shaplin (paid Ford Foundation consul- To help establish the Project, advise 
quite a few visits to the tants to the Six Year Pri- on related issues and set the pattern 
tchool) mary Project. of training. 


I r ,8 

Appendix VII Cont. 
List of some Visitors to the Project Between 
1969 and 1979 


The Ministry's Syllabus 
Committee on Yoruba led 
by Mr. J.F. Ala. 

\A i n 1 4 1 rv rwcnnncl rmttrm 

miiusLi j per auinici rcprc- 
senutive of the Yoruba 

To examine the syllabus, schemes of 
work and the materials produced in 
Yoruba also to observe clas>room 
teaching through Yoruba medium. 


Mr. Melvin Fox and Dr. R. 
Bigelow (paid quite a few 
visits to the Project) 

Ford Foundation Offi- 
cers, Lagos Office. 

To observe the activities of the Pro- 
ject School and get familiarized with 
the Project generally 


Mrs. C.F. Oredugba 
(paid two visits) 

Chief Inspector of Educa- 
tion, Western State Mini- 
stry of Education. 

To observe the activities of the Pro- 
ject School and get familiarized with 
the Project. 


Mrs. Ogunbiyi (paid two 
visits to the school). 

Home Economics Specia- 
list, Ministry of Educa- 

To observe the teaching of Science 
and advise on an integration of home 
economics in the Science curriculum. 


Professor R.A. Omojuwa 

Lecturer Institute of Edu- 
cation, Ahmadu Bello 

To study the Curriculum materials 
and the set-up of the Project. 


Mesdames Ifaturoti, Santos 
and Popoola 

Subject Area Specialists, 
Inspectorate Division 

Ministry of Education. 

Sent by the Ministry to observe the 
teaching of subjects in the Project 
class and report on their findings. 


Association for Teacher 
Education in Africa Con- 
ference Members led by 
Prof. A.B. Fafunwa, its 
President (1970 — 72) 

The entire group atten- 
ding the Conference at Ife 
in February 1971. 

To get acquainted with the Project 
and observe as much as possible for 
subsequent discussion during the 


Mr. Steve Stackpole and 
Karl Bigelow 

Carnegie Corporation 
and Teacher's College 

To get acquainted with the Project. 


Mr. D. Bell and 
Dr. W.K. Gamble 

Ford Foundation Repre- 

To observe the activities of the Pro- 
ject School and to get acquainted 
with the Project generally. 


Professor Ayo Bamgbose 

University of Ibadan. 

To observe the activities of the Pro- 
ject, particularly the teaching of Yo- 
ruba and the use of Yoruba as a me- 
dium of instruction. 


Dr. Sheldon-Cole 

U.S.A. I.D. Washington 

To observe the activities of the Pro- 
ject School. 


Dr. J.W. Kirk 

Chief Inspector of Educa- 
tion, USAID, Lagos. 

To observe the curriculum materials 
as well as the classroom teaching on 
the Project. 


Mr. Joe Hanbrook 

B.B.C. London 

To observe Project activities and 

classroom teaching for a proposed 
B.B.C. programme on the teaching 
of English as a second language in 




Mr. Peter Hargreaves 

B.B.C. London 

To observe Project Activities and 
classroom teaching for a proposed 
B.B.C. programme on the teaching 
of English as a second language in 


Prof. Kong Chu 

Georgia Inst, of Tech., 
U.S. A 

To familiarize himself with the activi- 
ties of the Project. 


Mrs. C. Parren 

St. Louis University M O 

For a brief Post-Graduate study on 
Innovations in Primary schools in 
West Africa. 


Mr. Melvin Fox, 

Mr. Betty Skolnick, 

Ford Foundation Officers 

To observe the activities of the Pro- 
ject School. 


Mrs. O. De-Pick and 
Cary Adams 

U.S.A. I.D. African 
Bureau Washington D.C. 

To study briefly the set-up of the 
Project and the implications in rela- 
tion to primary education in some 
parts of Africa. 


Mr. Amadou Toure and 
Mrs. Kadiatou Samoura 

Post Graduate students 
from the Republic of 

Mali, West Africa. 

To study the Project for a term to 
fulfil part of their Doctoral require- 


Mrs. Elaine Penderhuges 

Child Guidance Clinic, 
Boston University. 

To study the Project briefly as an in- 
novative programme in Primary 


Mrs. Mabel Symthe 

Phelp/Stokes Founda- 
tion, New York. 

To study the Project briefly as an in- 
novative programme in Primary 


Professor. J.O. Obemeata 

Principal, Fatima Colle- 
ge, Ikire, Western State. 

To conduct a study of the pupils' 
cognitive achievement as part of a 
doctoral requirement under the su- 
pervision of Professor B. Yoloye of 
University of Ibadan. 


Dr. J.A.O. Sofolahan and 

Deputy Ch'ef Inspector of 
Education, Western State 
Ministry of Education. 

To observe classroom teaching, exa- 
mine the materials and try to assess 
the value of Project in order to pre- 
sent an official report to the Com- 

missioner for Education, Western 

25. Dr. E.O. Aderinlewo Western State Ministry of 


26. Commissioners of Educa- 
tion, Permanent Secretaries 
and Chief Inspectors of 
Education from four Yoru- 
ba Speaking States: Lagos, 
Ogun, Ondo and Oyo and 
their staff. 

Professional and Political 
administrative heads of 4 
State Ministries of Educa- 
tion in Nigeria. 

27. Federal Ministry of Educa- 
tion Inspectors from Lagos. 

Chief Federal Inspectors 
of Education. 

To attend two-day Seminar (May 20 
and 21, 1977), entitled: 'An Overview 
of the Six Year Primary Project' or- 
ganized by the Project and attended 
by participants. 

The Seminar unanimously expressed 
satisfaction with the Yoruba Project 
and the materials developed. 

To inspect the Six Year Primary Pro- 
ject and make recommendations to 
the Federal Ministry of Education. 


1 CO 


1. Adu J.K.A comparison of the Academic Achievement of Project and Non- 
Project Pupils of the Six Year of (Yoruba medium) Primary Education M.Ed 
Project Report. University of Ibadan, Ibadan, 1978. 

2. Afolayan A. The Six- Year Primary Project in Nigeria in Mother-Tongue Edu- 
cation edited by Bamgbose. A. Hodder and Stroughton, London 1976. 

3. Akinjagunla M.M. Comparative Study of the Project and Non-Project Pupils 
of the Six Year Primary Project in their Emotional and Social Adjustment to 
Grammar School. M.Ed, thesis, University of Ibadan, 1978. 

4. Awoniyi T.A. The Role and Status of the Yoruba Language in the Formal 
School System of Western Nigeria 1846—1971. Ph.D. thesis, University of Iba- 
dan, 1973. 

5. Bamgbose Ayo (editor) Mother Tongue Educatio <: The West African Expe- 
rience Hodder and Stroughton, London 1976. 

6. Bamgbose Ayo, mother-tongue medium and Scholastic Attainment in Nigeria. 
Prospect Quarterly Review of Education, No. 49 Vol. XIV No.l Unesco, Paris, 

7. Bruner Jerome S. The Nature of Learning in John L. Leuis, Teaching of School 
Physics Unesco Source Book, Penguin Books Limited, Middlesex, 1972. 

8. Bull W.E. The Use of Vernacular Language in Education, Hymes, Happer and 
Row, N.Y., 1964. 

9. Fafunwa A.B. and Bliss B. The Effect of Bilingualism on the Abstract and 
Concrete Thinking Ability of Yoruba Children, University of Ife, Ile-Ife, 1967. 

10. FafUiiwa A.B. The Psychological Development of Children from O to 6 Years 
in Developing Countries. UNESCO meeting of Experts Urbana, Illinois 
U.S.A. 1974. 

1 1 . Fafunwa A.B. History of Education in Nigeria, George Allen and Unwin, Lon- 
don, 1974. 

12. Fafunwa A. Babs et. al 1974 Six Year Primary Project (a) Report No. 1. (b) Re- 
port No. 2 Institute of Education University of Ife, 1972 and 1974. 

13. Fafunwa A. Babs. Education in the mother-tongue: A Nigerian Experiment — 
The Six Year (Yoruba medium) Primary Education Project At the University of 
Ife West African Journal of Education Vol. XIX No. 2, June 1975. 


14. Fafunwa, A.B. Facilitating the Adoption of African Languages As Educational 
Instruments in African Countries: The Case of Nigeria. UNESCO, BREDA, 
Dakar Senegal. Commissioned Paper, November, 1987. Pp. 86. 

15. Fafunwa A.B. & Sokoya J.A.F. Guidelines to the planning of Language Tea- 
ching in African Countries. UNESCO BREDA Dakar, Commissioned Paper, 
November 1988. 

16. Federal Republic of Nigeria's White Paper, National Policy on Education, Fe- 
deral Government Press Lagos (Revised Edition). 1981 . 

17. June 1968 report by Judson and Marjorie Shaplin, Commissioned by the Ford 
Foundation to review Grade II Teacher Training and Institutes of Education 
activities; made lengthy commentary on the problems in the teaching of langua- 
ge and reading in the primary schools of Nigeria. 

18. Macauley, J. Iyabode. The Effect of Language Instruction on Selected Instruc- 
tional Processes and Outcomes Ph.D. Thesis University of Ibadan, 1982. 

19. Memorandum of Educational Policy in British Tropical Africa 2374 HMSO 

20. Oduegungbo B.O. A Comparison of the Performance of the Students from the 
Ife Six- Year Primary Project and the Non-Project Students in Selected Secon- 
dary Schools in Ile-Ife in Yoruba and English. M.Ed Thesis, University of Iba- 
dan, 1979. 

21 . Ojerinde A. and Cziko G. Yoruba Six Year Primary Project, June 1976 Evalua- 
tion. Institute of Education, University of Ife, Ile-Ife, January 1977. 

22. Ojerinde A. and Cziko G. Yoruba Six Year Primary Project, June 1977 Evalua- 
tion Institute of Education University of Ife, Ile-Ife, January 1978. 

23. Ojerinde A. The Effects of A Mother-tongue, Yoruba, on the Academic Achie- 
vement of Primary Five Pupils of the Six Year Primary Project: June 1978 Eva- 
luation Institute of Education University of Ife, Ile-Ife, June 1979. 

24. Ojerinde A. Six Year Yoruba Primary Project 1979 Primary Six Evaluation 
Institute of Education, University of Ife, Ile-Ife. 

25. Ojerinde A. The Use of A Mother-tongue, Yoruba As a medium of Instruction 
in Nigerian Schools Ph.D. Thesis Cornell University U.S.A., 1978. 

26. Osafehinti I.O.A. Comparative Study of Academic Performance of Project 
and Non-Project Products of the Six- Year Primary Project. M.Ed. Project Re- 
port. University ofjbadan, 1979. 

27. Papers contributed at the Week-end Seminar on Yoruba Language and Litera- 
ture. December 13th to 16th, 1969 at the University of Ife, Ile-Ife. See A. Afo- 
layan, O. Oyelaran and A.B. Fafunwa. 

28. Report of the Writing Workshop August 16th to September 12th, 1970 Ife Six 
Year Primary Project. 


29. Report of the Writing Workshop August 16th to September 10th, 1970 Ife Six 
Year Primary Project. 

30. Rowland, E.C. 'Yoruba and English — a problem of co-existence', African 
Language Studies, SOAAS, London, 1963. 

31. The Six Year Primary Project Report No.l Institute of Education, University 
of Ife, Ile-Ife 1972. 

32. The Six Year Primary Project No II Institute of Education, University of Ife, 
Ile-Ife, 1974. 

33. The Six Year Primary Project Report: 1977. An Overview of the Six Year Pri- 
mary Project Presented Through The Seminar Held With Government Repre- 
sentatives of Four Yoruba Speaking States of Nigeria. Institute of Education, 
University of Ife. 

34. The Six Year Primary Project Report on The Proliferation Schools for the 
1976/79 Session by N.O. Owopetu. 

35. Glossary of Technical Terminology For Primary Schools in Nigeria. Federal 
Ministry of Education, Lagos. 

36. Shaplin J.T. et al, Survey of a Proposed National Educational Research Coun- 
cil in Nigeria-urged urgent investigation into Language instruction in primary 
school and the mother tongue, May 1962. 

37. The 1966 report: English Language Teaching in Nigeria, co-sponsored by the 
Nigerian National Universities Commission, Federal Ministry of Education and 
Funded by the Ford Foundation and the British Council, recommended careful 
inquiry into the mother-tongue and their Social and educational utility and a 
decision on language policy for Nigeria. 

38. UNESCO Monograph on Fundamental Education: Vol. III. The Use of Verna- 
cular Languages in Education Paris, 1953. 

39. YoloyeE.A. 

(a) 1972, S. Y.P.P. Evaluation Report No. 1 

(b) 1973, S. Y.P.P. Evaluation Report No.II 

(c) 1977, Evaluation of the Ife Six Year Primary Project (Ibadan African Re- 
gional Centre for Advanced Training in Educational Evaluation, University of 



Affective outcomes, study 116 - 117 
results of 129 - 130 

Child, pre-school 8 
Cognitive achievement 

analyses procedure in 1 1 3 - 115 

data collection to 111 - 112 

demographic data form 111, 113 

instruments 109 

longitudinal study of 106 - 115 

result patterns of 1 1 7 - 1 27 

sample 106 

test items in 110-111 
Curriculum Development 14, 29-61, 101, 

strategies for 28 - 30 
Curriculum Evaluation 14 
Curriculum Implementation 14 
Curriculum materials 28, 102 

components of 28 - 29 
Curriculum planning 14 
Curriculum primary education 1 34 
Curriculum primary school 49 
Curriculum Revision. 14 


ideology of language in 10 - 11 
policy oflanguage in 11-14 

Education culture 8 

Education, Ministry of 18, 19, 28, 44, 86, 98 

contributions of 21 

role in employment of teachers 1 9 
Education system, Nigeria 3, 8 

policy on 3 - 4 

use of mother tongue 3 
Educational policy 4-6 

objectives of primary education 5 

Educational system 2 - 4, 7 

with the advent of Europeans 2 
Educational system, christian 2-3 
Educational system, Islamic 2 
Educational system, traditional 2 
Elementary science 82 
English Language 54,78,82 

as second language 81-82 
composition of writing panel on 54 
instructional texts on 61 
production of instructional materials on 

56 - 60 
reading readiness 87 - 89 
teachers of 85 - 87, 108 
teaching process for 89 - 90 
use of instructional materials on 60 
writing procedure for 55 - 56 
Evaluation, formative 105 - 106 

Ford Foundation 21, 22, 26,67 
consultants of 26 
financial support 2 1 , 26 

Integrated science 73 
teaching of 73 - 74 

Language roles 82 

implementation of 82 - 84 

Mathematics 82 

teaching of 74 - 76 
Mathematics see Matimatiki 
Matimatiki, writing of 35 - 44 

composition of panel on 35 

problems of 36 - 40 

procedure for 35 

textbooks and workbooks in 40, 43 - 44 
Mother tongue 12, 17,66, 136, 144 

as a medium of education 9-11,19,82 

importance of 9-10 

in education system 3-4 

in production of educational materials 62 

62 - 65 
numerals ir 39 - 40 
policy on use of 3 - 4 
teaching of 1 2 
training in 67-68 

Oluwasanmi, H.A. 22 

Primary education 9, 17, 18 
aim of 6 - 7 

curriculum development 17 
Primary Education, post 24 
Primary School Administration 91 - 98 


1 r : 

Primary School system 6 
Primary Schools system 6 
Public examination , Performance 116 
results of study on 127-129 

Sayensi 44 

composition of writing panel 44 
evolution of text material 46 
review of syllabus 44 - 45 
teaching aids for 46 
use of mother tongue 46 - 47 
vocabulary in writing of 47 
writing procedure for 45 - 46 

School curriculum 13 

Science see Sayensi 

Secondary education 16 

Shaplin, J.T. 25 

Shaplin, Majorie 25 

Six- Year Primary, Project 62 
achievement of 141 - 143 
active pupil participation in 84 - 85 
advisory comnuttee to 147 
books produced for 158 
choosing a language for 138 - 140 

classroom guidelines for 7 1 
classroom teachers for 150 
contributors to the 1 52 — 153 
curriculum development 28-61 
executive committee to 147 - 148 
funding 21-23 

government reaction to 134 - 135 
implementation of 26 
local resource persons to 92 
monitorning educational progress of 
products of 1 30 - 132, 153 - 158 

objectives of 84, 134 
parents contribution to 23 - 26,91 
planning of the 16-22 
problems encountered on the 91-98 
problems encountered with the Ministry 

problems relating to pupils in 94 - 95 
problems relating to staff on 95 - 97 
production of materials for 62 - 65 
proliferation schools in 102 

recomendations for 145 - 146 
role of evaluation in the 100 - 132 
role of ministry of education 21, 28 
role of universities 

specialist teachers for 150 

teacher training for 66 - 70 

time-tabling in 7 1 

visitors to the 158 - 160 

writing groups in 148-149 
Social and cultural studies 49, 73, 82 

development of syllabus for 49 - 50 

evaluation of programme on 53 

implementation of curriculum for 51 - 53 

texts for 50 - 51, 53 - 54 

writing procedure for 50 
Syllabus, science 47 - 48 
Syllabus, Yoruba 34 

review of 31 

Teaching materials 
storage of 93 - 94 

UPE (Universal Primary Education) 5 

Yoloye, EA. 23 

Yoruba 76 - 81, 83, 84, 87 

listening and speaking of 79 

reading and writing of 79 - 80 

reading programme for 77 - 78 

reading readiness skill for 78 

teacher's use of 76 - 77 

teaching 77 
Yoruba language writing of 30 - 34 

composition of panel of 30 

materials for 32 - 34 

procedure for 31 

textbooks and workbooks for 32 - 34 


Education in Mother Tongue states a lucid case for the use of 
the child's mother tongue as the medium of education for at 
least the first twelve years of his life. In this period which is 
considered the most formative stage of a child's development, 
education in mother tongue should be an inalienable right. 

The book which is a product of the Ife Primary Education 
Research Project shows how a mother tongue education was 
successfully planned, organized and implemented in a section 
of the country and how the various problems that emerged 
were solved. Designed for those involved at all levels of educa- 
tion, the book will also serve as a useful reference material for 
all students of Institutes of Education. It also proffers frank 
suggestions to those African countries that are interested in 
replicating thel/e Mother Tongue Six Year Primary Project. 

ISBN 978 248133 0 

University Press Limited 



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